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This is a brief exposé, running only about one hundred eighty pages of text. I began to write it while looking out the window at the layer of dead fish covering Venetian and Moorings Bay, in Naples, Florida, in 2017. You could almost walk on it. In trying to learn more about red tide beyond the daily news reports, I found there were no books written for the average reader that gave a history of red tide and some indication as to the state of research into human health issues, arising as a result of the growing outbreaks. In the process of doing research, I discovered that a cyanobacterium being released from Lake Okeechobee was causing a separate set of problems and that somehow it was all interrelated. So, I wrote the book in the hope that people would read it carefully and get angry enough to write or call their legislators to take action quickly.

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Nature's Steward: A History of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida chronicles the development of southwest Florida using the modern-day Conservancy of Southwest Florida as the lens through which to examine environmental history. A parallel track exists alongside the Conservancy's story, and that is the evolution of land acquisition practices and comprehensive growth management planning efforts at the state and federal levels. The reader will come to understand the enormous commitment of time and money required to ensure that a beautiful corner of the world be developed in a generally sensible manner. The book is organized chronologically with three separate topics: land acquisition, managing for growth, and water.

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