Segment: MSD discusses the wet and dry cycles, and cycles/change in general

Source: Interview with Marjory Stoneman Douglas: a tale of two women / produced by Florida International University Learning Resources for FIU/FAU Joint Center. Videotaped at the Douglas House in Coconut Grove, June 15, 1983.

Link to Audio: SPC950A_06

Length of Segment: 00:02:50

You talked abut the Everglades System as a sheetflow from 40-80 miles wide.  What causes the variation in the width?

Well, the amount of water, I think, that is, the rainfall.  And you realize that this whole area, this whole basin is fed by varying amounts of rain.  You know, we have wet and dry cycles. That's quite definitely proved. In the wet cycle, we have a lot of rain and in the dry cycles we have very little.  So it is the variation of the rainfall that accounts for the variation in the width not only of the sheetflow, but of the height of Lake Okeechobee, that is the height of this surplus water.

Is the variation - the wet and the dry cycles -- is that something that has always occurred?

Oh yes, that is the Earth. That's the way the Earth works.  You know, there's always change. There's cycles in so many things.  The world is run by cycles. Cycles of tide, cycles of rain, cycles of all that kind of ---. Nothing is exactly static all the time. There's an ebb and flow. It moves that way, that's the way nature is.  And that is the whole, the wildlife, the breeding, is geared to those cycles. And that of course is the unfortunate thing that the Water Management District doesn't understand. Cause the WMD is not geared to cycles. It wants to do what it wants to do without regard to a natural cycle. So that is one of the greatest mistakes the Water Management Area, the Water Management District Board makes, letting out a lot of water if they think the Everglades is low, they let it out at a time when the crocodiles- this just happened -the alligators have been building their nests at a time of low water, which would normally stay low until the young were hatched. But now with all these rains, there is so much water in these stupid conservancy areas, number two and number three,  that the WMD to keep the conservancy areas low, let it out at the wrong periods of time so the young alligators will probably be drowned.  They don't even think about that.  But you see they don't understand or they don't care, I think it's they don't care.  They don't care and the Corps of Everglades don't care. They want to do things the way they want to do them, and mankind is very pigheaded about that.  That is where he makes some of his worst mistakes.