Bobby Angel

Pre-Drainage Song
As sung around the campfire

Bobby Angel brings down the house …

With his sprawling masterpiece on the destruction of the Everglades and the power of dreams to both haunt us and inspire a new way.

If you’re a history buff …

You’ll rejoice in the many references to the pre-drained Everglades, how it changed over time, and our quest with hydrologic restoration to get it right.

Bobby Angel may not have all the answers …

But boy can he sing a Nature Folk ballad!

Canal plug at work
Go plug! Go!

Ask any canal …

It’s goes is plain and simple is to drain the swamp.

Can you see the plug and culvert?

What the canals didn’t bargain for …

Was the strategic addition of earthen plugs.

We added those plugs primary built in the higher-ground pinelands.

That allows water to pool up behind the plug.

And discharge under the road through the culvert just upstream.

Technological breakthrough
Always arriving in the nick of time

Can we rely on technology …

To guarantee future water resources?

The S-12A helps deliver water into Everglades Nat’l Park


The answer is yes, but not an absolute yes of our forefather’s forefathers – rather it’s a tentatively stated and probabilistically defined, “let’s hope so.” At this point it would be pretty fool hearty to go back to the dousing rod or hand pump, and truly, why would anyone want to try.

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Hole in the Donut (in reverse)

It’s not always possible …

To restore a wetland to exactly how it was before.

Hole-in-the-Donut now (i.e. a few years after rock-tilled
soil was scraped away, pinelands in the background)
Hole-in-the-Donut (immediately following scrape down)
Hole-in-the-Donut after fallow rock-plowed farm fields
went feral and became infested with Brazillian Pepper 
Artists interpretation of what Hole-in-
the-Donut used to look like when it
was active rock-plowed farm fields
Hole-in-the-Donut prior to rock plowing

Hole in the Donut is the case point.

Once upon a time it was pine flatwoods. That was before it was rock plowed for farming, and before those fields went fallow and filled in with Brazilian pepper, and before efforts were made to get pines to grow back.

The eventual solution was to scrape out the makeshift soil.

That turned it into a herbaceous marsh.