Faces and Names in Palm Beach County

Arthur R. Marshall, Ecologist

By Ruby Lynn Holden, North Palm Beach Village Historian

A biologist with an MS in marine science, Marshall’s real passion was preserving Florida’s wetlands which were being threatened by unbridled development. He saw, through his work at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and assessments of dredge and fill projects, that drainage of wetlands and “water control” in general was changing rainfall patterns.His prophetic vision that this fragile ecosystem could only be preserved if development was stopped and not merely managed made him unpopular.

Major projects influenced by Marshall:

  • Impact of Sanibel Causeway on water quality in Pine Island Sound.
  • Salinity studies in the 10,000 Islands area of the Everglades.
  • Ecological impact of the proposed Jetport.
  • Cross Florida Barge Canal impact studies.
  • Expansion of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Marshall’s move to Miami and the influence of conservationist Marjorie Stoneman Douglas led him to focus on the Everglades, campaigning tirelessly for their protection.

The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, a 147,392-acre sanctuary located west of Boynton Beach, is one of three memorials bearing his name: The Arthur R. Marshall Foundation fulfills its mission to preserve the Everglades through education and public outreach, and the Arthur R. Marshall Eminent Scholar Chair in the Department of Zoology, University of Florida, also honor Florida’s dedicated ecologist.

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