Segment: Speech by Marjorie Carr about responsible industry and protecting the Keys

Source: Lecture by Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Fort Lauderdale, May 6, 1983. Produced by Florida International University Learning Resources for FIU/FAU Joint Center

Link to Audio: SPC958_2

Length of Segment: 00:08:06

Delate: Thank you Carston and thank you Alice.  Next we are going to hear from Marjorie Carr.  Marjorie is better know in the central parts of Florida and the Northern parts of Florida, but we’re just delighted that she could come down to be with us today in the Keys.  Marjorie is the president of The Florida Defenders of the Environment.  She is also Vice-President of the Florida league of Conservation voters.  She lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Carr:  Thank you.  It is a great pleasure to be here.  Actually, I grew up in South Florida and Southwest Florida, but I spent my honeymoon in the Florida Keys, and that was a good many years ago.  But I think that I am typical of a lot of Floridians who do not live in the Keys; that we love it even though we don’t get down here often.  We are concerned about it, we admire it, and we want to help.  The group that I am president of: Florida Defenders of the Environment is a little different from the conservation groups here in Florida.  We try to fit in and make our contribution to the overall effort in a little different way.  Most of our members are specialists of one sort or another.  Biologists, lawyers, economists…  And we have recently, a year ago, raised the money to open an office in Tallahassee, where we have a very fine staff, and John Hankinson, our executive director, is here with me today, and our research director, David Carr; some relation.  Our group tries, as to this job, and which I want to tell you all about, because I want to help you, the Sierra Club, we work closely with the Sierra Club, and Audubon.  We are there in Tallahassee to monitor what’s going on, and then when a problem arises, we analyze, we scope out that problem.  We analyze it and see how we can, and where we can, involve our volunteer specialists in getting the facts that will be helpful in reaching a solution.  We offer these facts to anyone.  We have been cooperating with because we think that it is very important to have close interaction with government and with responsible industry.  We are finding that responsible industry here in Florida realizes that the economy, a healthy economy, is absolutely dependent upon a healthy environment.  We are finding that this is so, and I think here in the Keys, you will find an exquisite example, that the good health, the economic health, of this area will depend upon the proper development, the sustainable development, of these exquisite and unique islands.  It’s going to be quite a job, but if it’s messed up, the economic values will be greatly diminished also.  But those of us, we talk about the economic basis and that’s very important.  That’s terribly important.  Tied into that is why people like to live here, like to visit here, and there you get into the emotion of pleasure, of admiration.  The Keys have been in the past an exquisite place to visit, and exquisite place to live and it certainly should be so developed that it will be a pleasure to visit here and live here fifty and a hundred years from now, and that is the problem.  And it is… I am very hopeful for this reason: first to see the great citizen involvement that has been evidenced in the few days that I’ve been down here, and second that John DeGrove is really taking a hand, because we do have the laws in place, and I think that it is only logical that your elected officials here will see that it is in their best interests, the best interests of the Keys, to cooperate, and of course this will be an obligation on the part of citizens too, to open a dialogue, to have cooperation here, to sit here.  We have a pressing problem.  We must get together.  We must solve it, and do it in a hurry.  You don’t have much time left.  It is well worth it.  And I urge you all to bring together the coalition of government, your industries, your corporations, that are interested in the development of these islands, and the citizenry, you know, you have a common job here.  Get together, and get on with it.  Because you can do it, you can do it.  The time is right.  I think we’ve passed the, passed the moment, passed the watershed.  I think as we’ve seen, from what we’ve heard, laid out by John DeGrove this morning, that we’ve got a blueprint now where to go.  And our group will be monitoring this, willing to help in any way we can.  We are particularly interested in this very unique hardwood hammock that you have down here.  I know, as a student, I’ve been down here, my husband has been down in this area, and we will help in whatever we can, in whatever way we can, with Florida Defenders of the Environment and the Environmental Service Center in Tallahassee.  It’s a pleasure to be here.