“Draws readers into its difficult subject by resorting to the dirtiest trick in the journalist’s bag of tricks: great storytelling.”—Creative Loafing
“Uncovers what ought to rank among Florida’s most notorious development scandals—and that’s something in a state infamous for swampland scams and subprime sprawl. . . . An infuriating, all-too-familiar tale of how powerful developers, shrewd lobbyists, and callow politicians shape public policy for private profit.”—Miami Herald
“This is an exhaustive, timely, and devastating account of the destruction of Florida’s wetlands, and the disgraceful collusion of government at all levels. It’s an important book that should be read by every voter, every taxpayer, every parent, every Floridian who cares about saving what’s left of this precious place.”—Carl Hiaasen
Florida possesses more wetlands than any other state except Alaska, yet since 1990 more than 84,000 acres have been lost to development—despite presidential pledges to protect them.
In this hard-hitting book, St. Petersburg Times investigative journalists Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite explain how taxpayers who think they’re paying for wetland protection have been stuck with a program that creates the illusion of environmental protection while doing little to stem the tide of destruction.
A potent combination of groundbreaking historical research and no-holds-barred reporting, this book portrays a landscape that has been compromised by greed, fear, and incompetence.
About the Author
Craig Pittman, a Florida native, is a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, and Matthew Waite, who hails from Nebraska, is the Times’s news technologist. Their reporting on wetlands has twice earned the top investigative reporting prize in the nation from the Society of Environmental Journalists as well as the Waldo Proffit Award for Excellence in Environmental Journalism in Florida.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Overstating the short and long term harm from the destruction of wetlands is hard – perhaps impossible. Equally hard – but certainly impossible – is topping the masterful work of Craig Pittman and co-author Matthew Waite who let the facts tell the tragic and maddening story of Florida’s wetlands. Paving Paradise is a thoroughly researched yet completely accessible account for all readers of what wetlands are, why they matter, and how they are regulated. It brings to life national, state, and local wetlands policies and the people and agencies that have implemented, skirted, or tried to change those policies, for better and worse. Paving Paradise is soul-stirring stuff – hard to achieve in a book about wetlands, but Pittman and Waite pulled it off and performed a tremendous public service in the process.