"A magnificent undertaking in historical detective work, or ‘forensic ecology’ in the authors’ words. The book will totally reset our way of envisioning the Everglades."--Peter Stone, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
"Represents a landmark in the study of historical ecology in South Florida. It is a must-read for hydrologists, ecologists, policy makers, and managers involved in restoration ecology."--William F. Loftus, retired, Department of Interior
Florida is in the midst of a colossal multi-billion dollar project to restore the Everglades, a flowing, patterned wetland, once larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. This comprehensive plan has been clouded by politics and, more important, challenged by the absence of a clear "original conditions" yardstick against which to measure restoration progress.
A group of experts at the South Florida Water Management District have united in an effort to mitigate this dilemma. Using survey notes, historical maps, photos, and firsthand descriptions, they have reconstructed a vivid ecological--and hydrological--picture of the Everglades of the 1800s, before drainage of the swamp drastically altered the landscape. Painstaking documentation and cross-verification of the historic sources (included on a DVD) allow the reader a front-seat view of the process of "forensic" reconstruction.Landscapes and Hydrology of the Predrainage Everglades
advances the science behind Everglades restoration. This landmark work offers an invaluable lens for scientists and policy-makers into the technical aspects of this massive wetland. The work is equally accessible to the layperson, gathering in one volume the many and varied voices of the first Europeans to set foot in the Everglades.Christopher McVoy
is a soil physicist and wetland ecologist. Winifred Park Said is a botanist, modeler, and environmental planner. Jayantha Obeysekera
is a hydrologist and director of the Hydrologic and Environmental Systems Modeling Department at the South Florida Water Management District. Joel VanArman
is a biologist, retired after 35 years of Everglades studies. Thomas W. Dreschel
is an environmental scientist specializing in aquatic systems. Appendices previously on DVD included with this book now available here.
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"A fascinating look into the Everglades' past that should be an important source of background information for environmental historians of this region." … "[A] well-written and illustrated book that is accessible to historians and policy makers, as well as to the scientific disciplines from which it arose."
“This book will be a primary reference for any future efforts to quantify the responses of the Everglades ecosystem to the on-going restoration... readers develop a deep appreciation for the uniqueness of the Everglades, the early efforts to map and settle this region, and the on-going co-evolution of the built and natural systems of south Florida.”
By organizing and interpreting a vast number of historical observations, the authors are providing a generous service and valuable resource to those of us involved in, or just interested in, Everglades restoration.
A valuable resource for anyone involved with ecosystem restoration, including engineers, soil scientists, botanists, geomorphologists, and those involved with restoration of similar land areas....Highly recommended.
A classic piece of scholarship that should have a unique place in the field of historical ecology.
--Natural Areas Journal