Outspoken Environmentalist Nathaniel Reed to Visit UF November 28

Nathaniel Reed

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Nathaniel Reed, a lifelong environmentalist who worked under more than one president despite a controversial style that transcended party politics, will speak at the University of Florida November 28.

Reed is being named the first Distinguished Leader in Fish and Wildlife Conservation, a new award bestowed jointly by UF’s departments of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Both departments are part of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Karl Havens, chairman of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, called Reed the “perfect person to set the standard for this award.” Havens said he and Wildlife and Ecology Conservation chairman John Hayes created the award to honor those who’ve dedicated their lives to the environment.

Reed, dubbed “The Maverick of Hobe Sound” by The St. Petersburg Times, worked for seven Florida governors. He served as assistant secretary of the interior for Presidents Nixon and Ford and is a former member of the board and vice chairman of the National Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy.

He’s vice chairman of the Everglades Foundation and helped form 1000 Friends of Florida.

Reed, still polishing his speech from his home in Hobe Sound, said he plans to talk about the three greatest water issues facing Florida: storage, drainage and pollution.

“They involve every land use decision that we have made and that will have to be made in years to come,” he said.

But don’t expect a dry analysis of water policy, he said.

“Because it’s me, there will be some hard-nosed stuff in there, too,” he said.

Despite his disdain for those who would put economic development before the sometimes-daunting problems facing the environment, Reed, at age 74, finds himself optimistic.

“If I wasn’t optimistic, I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning,” he said. “Some of these problems cannot be solved in the immediate future. They’re going to take a great deal of time and science and political will. But it can be done. The key is it can be done.”

The award presentation, Reed’s lecture and a question and answer session are scheduled for 3:00-4:00pm November 28 in Room 282 of the J. Wayne Reitz Union. An hourlong reception will follow. Faculty and students are encouraged to attend and the event is free and open to the public.

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  • By:
    Mickie Anderson – (352) 273-3566
  • Source:
    Karl Havens – khavens@ufl.edu, (352) 392-9617