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Pioneers of Environmental Protection

Marjorie Harris Carr

Marjorie Harris Carr

Born: March 26, 1915 in Boston, Massachusetts

Died: October 10, 1998

Accomplishments

bullet Graduated from Florida State College for Women (now FSU), 1936
bullet Received graduate degree from University of Florida, 1942
bullet First female wildlife technician for the Federal Government
bullet Initiated Payne’s Prairie Wildlife Refuge, now a Florida state preserve
bullet Leader in stopping construction of the Cross Florida Barge Canal
bullet Formed Florida Defenders of the Environment
bullet Mother to five children

Environmental Legacy

Marjorie Harris Carr worked tirelessly for the conservation of Florida’s vast green spaces and its abundant wildlife. Through her many environmental memberships and appointments, she was a pioneer in preserving land for public education and pleasure.

With her husband, noted sea turtle champion, Archie Carr, she held a strong commitment to the betterment of Florida’s environment. Carr was the prime mobilizer and motivator in the struggle to stop construction of the Cross Florida Barge Canal in the late 1960s. Today, the area is part of the Cross Florida Greenway Trail, a network of nature trails used for recreation, as well as plant and wildlife observation and preservation.

As part of the Barge Canal effort, Carr worked to have 16 miles of the Ocklawaha River, which had been dammed for the project, restored. In 1969, she helped to form the Florida Defenders of the Environment (FDE) that worked to defend the river’s restoration. She served as president of the organization for 30 years.

The FDE’s conservation work contributed to the formation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in the early 1970s. Today the FDE continues to fight for Florida’s environmental protection, organizing and supporting many diverse projects.

Carr has helped to raise the level of Floridian’s environmental consciousness, "I believe that Floridians care about their environment. If they are educated about its perils, if they are never lied to, they will become stewards of the wild places that are left."

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection honored the memory of the Carrs with the dedication of the Archie and Marjorie Harris Carr Building in Tallahassee, which houses the Department’s Division of State Lands, among other divisions.

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