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

February 10, 2010

By Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite

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. 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. Exposing the unseen environmental consequences of rampant sprawl, Pittman and Waite explain how wetland protection creates the illusion of environmental protection while doing little to stem the tide of destruction. What is happening to Florida’s ‘protected’ wetlands?

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