Life in Florida is shaped by natural forces that we often take for granted. Our weather and climate, our water resources, and our shorelines are more than attractions or places for recreation. They often make a profound impact on our history, our culture and our economy. At the same time, the force of human impacts (Pop. 21 million and growing by 1,000 every day) profoundly affect Florida’s natural environment. Three new books at the IFAS Extension Bookstore take a deep dive into the hidden forces that shape life in our state.
Charles R. Boning
Florida’s rivers may not be as wide as the Mississippi or carve huge canyons like the Colorado, but in their slow and steady way they’ve made ecosystems, communities and history along their banks.
This richly illustrated book profiles 60 major rivers and streams across all regions of the state. From Big Coldwater Creek in Florida’s Panhandle to the Miami River that discharges into Biscayne Bay, Florida’s Rivers looks at the geography, history and wildlife along our river systems, as well as human impacts on water conditions and natural ecosystems. Author Charles Boning presents an informative and balanced account of each river, taking the viewpoints of both outdoorsmen and environmentalists into account.
Regardless of where you live in Florida, this book is a lucid guide to the rivers that shape our lives, and how our lives shape our rivers.
“The mangrove would make a good brand ambassador for the whole of Florida…languid and relaxed to an extreme, thriving in the salt air where others would wilt, and almost completely intolerant to the cold.”
Mangrove forests provide rich habitat for fish and wildlife and a barrier against destructive waves and wind; they slow coastal erosion and are one of the most effective carbon sinks in the natural world. However, they’ve been historically seen as obstacles to coastal development, and this has led to a precipitous decline in mangroves in South Florida. At the same time, the effects of global warming have seen mangroves start to establish themselves north of their historic range.
St. Petersburg author and educator Thomas Kenning makes an engaging argument for preserving Florida’s mangroves. He talks about the ecology of mangrove ecosystems, their role in shaping Florida’s history from the Calusa civilization to modern coastal communities, and the impacts wrought by human development. Kenning outlines several commonsense approaches that can help bring our mangroves back from the brink.
The book is visually stunning, with 140 color photos of mangroves and the wildlife and human communities they support. Florida’s Mangroves is an eye-opening celebration of a distinctive part of our landscape.
Jennifer M. Collins, Robert V. Rohli, and Charles H. Paxton
University Press of Florida
Although it’s known as the Sunshine State, Florida’s real weather report is more complicated. Depending on region and season, Florida experiences a wide variety of weather conditions, including freezing temperatures, fog, drought, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and more lightning strikes than any other state.
Written for the general reader, this book uses maps, diagrams and clear language to explain the factors that affect our everyday weather patterns, as well as extreme events such as freezes, tornadoes and hurricanes. It also explains historical weather events such as the freeze of 1899, the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, and the time baseball-sized hail fell on Lake Wales.
Whether you’re planning a farm, a city waterfront or simply a trip outdoors, Florida Weather and Climate provides a fascinating introduction to meteorological science.
For more, visit http://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu