This is the cover of Peggy Macdonald's new biography of Marjorie Carr.

The story of a Florida mother of five who stopped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from killing a river.


Marjorie Harris Carr: Defender of Florida's Environment (University Press of Florida, 2014) is the first full-length biography of the self-described “housewife from Micanopy,” who in reality struggled to balance career and family with her husband, Archie Carr, a pioneering conservation biologist. For 35 years, Carr tirelessly led a coalition of citizen activists in the continuing battle to protect and restore the Ocklawaha River. To this day, this little-known river in the heart of central Florida remains blocked by the remnants of the Cross Florida Barge Canal, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project that Carr and her fellow Florida Defenders of the Environment (FDE) activists stopped before its construction was completed.  Marjorie Harris Carr is an intimate look at this remarkable woman who dedicated her life to conserving Florida’s wildlife and wild places. The book won Honorable Mention in Foreword Reviews' 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award contest in Women's Studies.

“An intimate look at a complex and brilliant woman who had to battle against stereotypes and, in so doing, invented a new form of scientifically based environmentalism. This is a must-read for anyone who truly cares about the ‘real Florida.’”—Lee Irby, author of 7,000 Clams


“Through a meticulous and beautifully illustrated study of Carr’s childhood, education, career ambitions, marriage, and family life, Macdonald shows how Carr overcame numerous obstacles to emerge as one of the leading environmental activists in Florida.”—Frederick Rowe Davis, author of The Man Who Saved Sea Turtles


“Carr’s unprecedented four-decade campaign stands today as a model for all future environmental movements. This is an enthralling account of one woman’s tireless efforts to prevent ecological disaster.”—Kathleen Kaska, author of The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane


“This insightful biography portrays Carr as scientist, activist, enlightened woman, and one of twentieth-century America’s premier earthkeepers.”—Jack E. Davis, author of An Everglades Providence


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© 2020 by Peggy Macdonald.