New Dawn for the Kissimmee River

New Dawn for the Kissimmee River Book   

Alderson uses a 12-day paddling expedition to explore the history and ecology of the Kissimmee River restoration plan.

First Place winner of the 2008 Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association in the unpublished travel category.

First Place winner of the 2010 Excellence in Craft Award for an outdoor book by the Florida Outdoor Writers Association.

The Kissimmee Valley, which includes the Kissimmee chain of lakes and Kissimmee River, covers an area from Orlando to Lake Okeechobee. The headwaters and grand gateway to the Everglades, the area is the domain of the alligator and bald eagle, snail kite and spoonbill, stretching more than 100 miles through central Florida.

Between 1960 and 1971, the Army Corps of Engineers straightened and diverted the river’s flow to control persistent flooding. These alterations shortened the length of the Kissimmee, significantly reduced wildlife populations, and created a lucrative real estate market that further threatened native species. In 1992, Congress acted to restore the river to its original flow.

In the spring of 2007, Doug Alderson joined an expedition down the Kissimmee chain of lakes and the newly restored river. Chronicled nightly on local television, the group witnessed firsthand the recovering bird populations, spotted otters, turtles, alligators, and other wildlife, and revealed to thousands of viewers the hidden beauty of this part of Florida.

In New Dawn for the Kissimmee River, Alderson uses this twelve-day paddling excursion as a thread to explore the history and ecology of the region, while highlighting the most successful restoration project of its kind in the world, the model for the overall Everglades restoration plan.

What others are saying:

"From now on, I'll paddle the Kissimmee beside the ghosts of raucous cowboys, cumbersome paddle wheelers, marching soldiers, and lurking Indians."
    Sandy Huff
    Author of Paddler's Guide to the Sunshine State

"Alderson uses his substantial reporting and photography skills to bring us a story of environmental destruction and restoration. I learned a lot about places I've visited dozens of times but never fully understood."
    Willie Howard
    Outdoors Editor, Palm Beach Post

"Alderson captured the trip better than could have been imagined and maintained the hopes for the future with great spirit and honesty. It has found a place of distinction in my natural history writer’s collection very near Abbey, Adamson and Audubon."
    Bob Mindick
    Public Lands Director and expedition member
    Osceola County Parks

"With alligators staying in the water but red ants climbing into his kayak, one of Florida's best-known nature writers takes the reader where few have sloshed, along the state's middle ribbon of water, the Kissimmee River. In this important report about a 2007 journey of a group-kayak adventure of 12 days duration, Doug Alderson weaves the story of this little-understood source of the Everglades, through its human history & the many mangled attempts to manage the water supply.

With black & white photographs that include a stunning grove of live oaks on the river's Bahama Island, an uncommon shot of free-range horses belly deep in water near Lake Cypress, and a red-shouldered hawk chowing down on a snake, this reference is a significant addition to any Everglades or Florida bookshelf."
    Jan Godown Annino
    Author of Florida’s Famous Animals and other books

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