Don Woodman's Reviews > Paving Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss

Paving Paradise by Craig Pittman
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Anyone who lives in Florida is impacted on a daily basis by the issue of real estate development. Growth and development is the engine that drives our state economy, and so all of us who derive our income from fellow Florida citizens enjoy the trickle down effects of growth and development. At the same time what attracted many of us to Florida are the very same natural resources put in jeapordy by unrestrained and rampant development. Rampant development destroys the precious wetlands that serve as a home for various species of flora and fauna, as well as functioning as a filter for drinking water and a flood control buffer. Therefore clearly a balance must be drawn that allows deveopment but also protects the wetlands from wholesale destruction. Thankfully, both state and federal laws regulate the permit process whereby developers obtain permission to destroy wetlands.
Sadly, the book reveals that the process is largely a sham. That the permit process is deeply and perhaps irretrievably broken becomes clear as the authors explore the regulations regarding permitting, as well as the issue of impact mitigation (trying to create or protect wetlands to offset the impact of damage to other wetlands). The authors cite specific examples from different areas of the state ranging from flooding issues in the panhandle to toxic river effluent in the St, Johns river in Jacksonville, to the dredging of canals in Clearwater.
Perhaps most sad is that this book is likely to have little impact on the way the state and developers do business. The Us Army Corps of engineers comes off particularly poorly in the book.'
The book is well written in a journalistic style that makes sense given the newspaper background of teh authors.
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Reading Progress

August 14, 2011 – Shelved
Started Reading
December 21, 2011 – Finished Reading

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