Congress Honors Florida Conservation Giant With Wildlife Refuge Designation

Dec 27, 2018

While disagreements in Congress have led to a government shutdown, there was at least one topic both the House and Senate were able to agree on before closing their doors last week.

A bill honoring an icon in Florida’s conservation movement was passed last Friday. The measure, sponsored by Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, renames the “Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge” in Palm Beach County to the “Nathaniel P. Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge."

Nathaniel Pryor "Nat" Reed was a long-time environmentalist and outdoor enthusiast from Florida.

In the 1970s, Reed served as an assistant secretary of the Interior under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He played a key role in constructing the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.

After leaving Washington and returning back to Florida in 1977, Reed worked to preserve Florida’s Everglades, fighting off development efforts from the Army Corps of Engineers and the state’s sugar industry.

Reed founded the watchdog environmental group 1,000 Friends of Florida as well as the non-profit Everglades Foundation, where he sat on the board for 25 years.

Reed passed away in July after sustaining a head injury during an annual fishing trip in Quebec, Canada.