Paving Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss

Paving Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss

by Craig Pittman




What is happening to Florida's "protected" wetlands?

"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

"Pittman and Waite pulled the lid off federal and state wetlands regulation in Florida and peered deep into the cauldron of 'mitigation,' 'no net loss,' 'banking,' and the rest of the regulatory stew. For anyone interested in wetlands generally, and in Florida environmental issues in particular, this is an eye-opening, must-read book."--J. B. Ruhl

Since 1990, every president has pledged to protect wetlands, and Florida possesses more than any state except Alaska. And yet, since that time Florida has lost more than 84,000 acres of wetlands that help replenish the water supply and protect against flooding.

How and why the state’s wetlands are continuing to disappear is the subject of Paving Paradise. Journalists Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite spent nearly four years investigating the political expedience, corruption, and negligence on the part of federal and state agencies that led to a failure to enforce regulations on developers. They traveled throughout the state, interviewed hundreds of people, dug through thousands of documents, and analyzed satellite imagery to identify former wetlands that were now houses, stores, and parking lots.

The result was an award-winning series, "Vanishing Wetlands," of more than twenty stories in the St. Petersburg Times, exposing the unseen environmental consequences of rampant sprawl. Expanding their work into book form in the tradition of Michael Grunwald's The Swamp, Pittman and Waite explain how wetland protection has become a taxpayer-funded program that creates the illusion of environmental protection while doing little to stem the tide of destruction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813035079
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 05/25/2010
Series: Florida History and Culture Series
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Craig Pittman, a Florida native, and Matthew Waite, originally from Nebraska, are both reporters at the St. Petersburg Times. Their work 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.

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Paving Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.