The Swamp: The Florida Everglades

Michael Grunwald is a Washington Post reporter who has won the George Polk Award for national reporting and other prizes for investigative reporting.

Florida Author Michael Grunwald

He won the Society of Environmental Journalists award for his reporting on the Florida Everglades.

This award established his reputation as one of the leading Florida authors.

Michael Grunwald lives in Washington, D.C.

He is included among Florida authors onFlorida Backroads Travel because of his book"THE SWAMP: Everglades, Florida and the Politics of Paradise."

THE SWAMP covers the history of the Everglades better than any single source I've ever read.

He tells the story about how the Everglades was once universally despised as a wasteland fit only for snakes and bugs and fugitive Indians.

His book weaves the story of the Everglades into the larger fabric of Florida history from ancient times through the Spanish and British periods and up to today when the country has launched the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program (CERP).

Grunwald tells the stories of the struggles with Everglades drainage and flooding, including the tragic hurricanes of 1926 and 1928.

The Army Corps of Engineers finally tamed the Everglades with miles of levees and canals, turning more than half of the Everglades into sprawling suburbs on the east and west coasts and sugar plantations and farms in the central region.

Although the southern Everglades was preserved as a national park, it soon deteriorated into an ecological mess. Marjorie Stoneman Douglas's "River of Grass" stopped flowing, and 90 percent of its wading birds vanished.

Grunwald hopes that mankind has finally recognized the majesty and importance of the Everglades.

CERP is the largest environmental restoration project in history and may be the last chance to save the Everglades.

The jury is still out on whether CERP will do the job.

The Everglades is a tremendously complex ecosystem and the science of restoration is constantly changing and evolving. THE SWAMP is available at The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise


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