This year 2009 is the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of
What? You say. Who the Hell is Archie Carr and why is he so important?
When Archie was born,
By the time Archie was fifty years old, most of the coasts were populated, and the plan, signed on by every politician and most Floridians, was to pave the entire state, replace marsh with green lawns and get rid permanently of the inconvenient critters. Archie by that time was a fixture at The University of Florida, and was showing generations of students the beauty and the value of what was slated for destruction. He wrote passionately of the natural world in
People listened to Archie, and slowly attitudes changed against destroying all of this unique natural environment.
His particular passion was saving the sea turtles from immanent extinction. He has been called the father of sea turtle research, and rightly so. Even beyond his field, his name is recognized for his commitment to the protection of these reptiles.
He didn’t win all the battles, he didn’t even win most. But he won a few, and most importantly he built a constituency of preservationists. By Archie’s death in 1987, even developers knew that had to pay at least lip service to the idea of preservation.
I am lobbying to dedicate the upcoming museum show on natural history to Archie. Its time for a thank you from
So why is Archie more important than the Bartrams, Audubon, Catesby or Muir? Those people brought the glory of
So now you know who Archie Carr was.