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Paving Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss (Florida History and Culture) [Paperback]

Craig Pittman , Matthew Waite , Raymond Arsenault , Gary R. Mormino

Price: 18.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 April 2009 Florida History and Culture
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. In this hard-hitting book, "St. Petersburg Times" investigative journalists Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite explain how taxpayers who think they're paying for wetland protection have been stuck with a program that creates the illusion of environmental protection while doing little to stem the tide of destruction. A potent combination of groundbreaking historical research and no-holds-barred reporting, this book portrays a landscape that has been compromised by greed, fear, and incompetence.

Product details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida (1 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813035074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813035079
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,703,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"This is an exhaustive, timely, and devastating account of the destruction of Florida's wetlands and the disgraceful collusion of government at all levels. It's an important book that should be read by every voter, every taxpayer, every parent, every Floridian who cares about saving what's left of this precious place." - Carl Hiaasen "Pittman and Waite pulled the lid off federal and state wetlands regulation in Florida and peered deep into the cauldron of 'mitigation,' 'no net loss,' 'banking,' and the rest of the regulatory stew. This is an eye-opening, must-read book." - J. B. Ruhl" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Craig Pittman, a Florida native, is a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, and Matthew Waite, who hails from Nebraska, is the Times's news technologist. Their reporting on wetlands has twice earned the top investigative reporting prize in the nation from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paving Paradise - Joy's review 15 Feb 2009
By J. Ezell - Published on
IMO, Paving Paradise should be required reading for all DEP and ACOE employees, all water management district employees, all regional planning council members, all legislators, cabinet members, all elected officials in the state, the Governor and his staff, all developers and real estate brokers and agents. St. Joe and Lennar come to mind immediately. Craig Pittman is my favorite Florida writer, and his work shines in this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who cares about the Sunshine State.
Paving Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss (Florida History and Culture)
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book now 23 Mar 2009
By Susan I. Cerulean - Published on
Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite explain why bulldozed and buried wetlands underlie the foundations of thousands of mines, highways, golf courses and shopping malls all over Florida, despite clear federal and state policy calling for no net loss of wetlands. This probing, well-crafted narrative will keep you turning every page of Paving Paradise. The prize-winning pair of St. Petersburg Times will help you understand the "topsy-turvy world where a minus can equal a plus, dry land masquerades as wet, and supposedly scientific test results don't count if they yield an undesirable answer." It might sound depressing, but the truth can help us move forward, or at least have that choice!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars naked truth 16 Mar 2009
By Robert H. Mooney - Published on
From three-decades as government employee -- county, state and federal -- I felt like a streetwalker reading about $5,000-an-hour "escorts" who portray they are providing a valuable public service. This says it all (from page 167): "One of the areas hardest hit was the western side of the Everglades, where the Corps cranked out permits allowing the destruction of some 4,000 acres of swamps and marshes, even as it drew up plans to spend billions of dollars repairing the damage done by man to the eastern side of the River of Grass."
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read... Paving Paradise 14 Mar 2009
By Alan Farago - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Pittman and Waite's book, "Paving Paradise", is a major contribution -- not just to Florida-- but to anyone absorbed in trying understand what went wrong with the national economy. Through a fine microscope, the writers lay bare the fraud and mismanagement of risk, related to wetlands destruction, that was a necessary piece of the decision tree leading up to Wall Street fees, bonuses, and compensation in the billions. In other words, this is not just a book about wetlands: it is the story of a society whose values went straight off the rails, all under the lazy eye of regulators and politicians who lacked the will to protect citizens and taxpayers. Read this book!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dumb growth 23 Mar 2009
By Gulfcoaster - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Craig Pittman and Matt Waite obviously appreciate the irony in the lies they have been told while they were documenting the truth about the decades of reckless bulldozing of Florida's precious wetlands. That sense of humor makes it possible to read their exhaustive account of the corrupt ways developers repeatedly circumvented laws and regulations to destroy irreplaceable natural resources in order to make a lot of fast bucks. Floridians need to read this book to understand what has happened and is still happening to the wild places and the water supply in the state. Non-Floridians should read it to find out how to keep this from happening elsewhere. "Paving Paradise" is a compelling non-fiction cautionary tale.
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