Feb 16, 2014

Swamp's favorite president?

“Do more good than harm.”

That’s what colleague (actually he was quite a few years older than me) told everyone at a group gathering just before he left. There was a tinge of self righteousness in what he said, but it was also about the closest you’d ever hear him admit to any regret. He was a man of action and strong opinions who loved to play Devil’s Advocate ... to the chagrin of quite a few.

Had Nixon not saved the swamp,
it would have been swallowed up
by a metropolis springing up around
the Miami-Dade Jetport instead

Funny how people leave and you never hear from them again.

But for some reason those words with me always stuck.

That brings us to President’s Day.

I’m old enough to remember when Washington’s Day and Lincoln’s Day were separate holidays. Then at some point they got combined into a single day to commemorate the Presidential office and all those that served from 1 to 44.

Diagram from a Nixon-era study 
that helped save the swamp

Who is my favorite president?

For me it's Richard Nixon without a pause.

What hydrologist can resist picking a president who made water gates, or was it Watergate, a household term.  Or that he has the same birthday as Elvis, American icon and singer/songwriter behind the meteorologic masterpiece Cold Kentucky Rain.  But most of all there's the fact that he single-handedly saved the swamp.  Well, maybe that's stretching it, but he was the president that signed Big Cypress Nat'l Preserve into law.

Thank you Richard Nixon

Did he do more good than harm?

It’s hard to say no if you live in the swamp.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Robert, sorry to have to.correct an error, but Richard Nixon did.not sign the enabling legislation for Big Cypress National Preserve. Nixon did withdraw.federal funding from the Everglades Jetport, and took many actions supportive of federal protection for Big Cypress. But his role in the Watergate cover up.forced Nixon to resign before the Big Cypress legislation passed Comgress in 1974, so it was President Gerald Ford who signed the Big Cypress bill into law.

Thanks, Robert, for continuing to.wrote what many of us believe is the best.science blog in the U.S. Regards... Joe Browder