Florida is facing unprecedented environmental challenges. We see our state’s vulnerabilities in climate change, which manifest in climbing temperatures, rising sea levels, worsening storms and the spread of emergent diseases. Coupled with the pressures from unbounded population growth, increasing tourism, intensive agriculture, habitat fragmentation and myriad other factors, our state’s natural systems are in a precarious balance.
Now more than ever, Florida deserves a publication that contextualizes and casts a critical eye on the environmental issues characterizing our state.
This is why we started The Marjorie, an online publication that provides in-depth, thoughtful and sustained reporting on the state’s environment. Part blog, part news magazine, part commentary, part community, The Marjorie is the brainchild of three journalists and Florida natives, Hannah Brown, Becca Burton and Anna Hamilton.
Here’s a little bit about what you can expect from us:
• We write about people doing environmental work in Florida
• We infuse our own sensibilities, opinions and experiences through editorial work
• We are a resource that connects environmental workers in Florida
• We curate the most important environmental topics/issues/reporting in Florida
• We consider environmental issues through specific lenses — be they historical, feminist or humor — to shine a light on new angles and perspectives.
As well, The Marjorie’s mission is to build an online space where environmental leaders in Florida can network, learn the facts of environmental issues and hear the stories of the people who are most affected. We are working to build a directory of environmental leaders, and we are committed to supporting open dialogues amongst all sides, building a community geared toward protecting Florida’s changing environments.
A crucial aspect of The Marjorie is acknowledging the role women have long played in Florida’s environmental movements. Our name is a tip of the hat to three women whose work helped define contemporary environmental advocacy: author and journalist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings; journalist, feminist and Everglades advocate Marjory Stoneman Douglas; and conservationist and activist Marjorie Harris Carr.
We use the Marjorie as jumping-off points, guides and inspirations and celebrate their commitment to wild Florida — but we also intend to explore and complicate their legacies to bring nuance to the discussion of what we mean when we say “environment,” to whom those spaces apply and how we can do better moving forward.
The Marjorie was created from a three-year project called The Renaissance Woman that focused on building a community where women could empower each other. From this, we learned that women in formation indeed do make one another stronger. This is a power that we believe must be shared with people of all backgrounds, not just the white women and men who often dominate environmental contexts.
Florida’s environmental story belongs to no one — it is the diversity of cultures, experiences and perspectives that make this state the zany, magical and often incomprehensible place that it is. To capture this dynamic, it is imperative that a variety of stories are heard and that voices from all backgrounds are included in the discussion.
Our January issue focuses on “Unsung Heroes.” Here we tell the stories of women who sweat and fight for environmental change every day, but are seldom acknowledged for their work or dedication. We highlight the women who protect Florida’s environment by taking on the dirtiest jobs from waste management to invasive species hunters. These women aren’t afraid to wade into the muck.
The Marjorie is dedicated to bringing people together in the name of protecting Florida’s lands, waters, animals and people. We invite you to join our community of environmental leaders by engaging with us and participating in the conversation. Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media for updates. All of this can be found at themarjorie.org.
The story of Florida’s environment is sometimes tragic, sometimes triumphant. Wherever we go from here, The Marjorie will be there, too, documenting the progress and missteps and offering insight. We hope that you will join us in this project and engage with us as we work to tell the stories of Florida’s environment from perspectives that are often overlooked. •
To read more, visit www.themarjorie.org.