A Tribute to Environmentalist Nathaniel Reed

On July 11th Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Reed, a great environmental advocate, passed away at age 84. Mr. Reed had many accomplishments and tirelessly spoke up to help protect wildlife and preserve the environment. He was a true environmental champion.

Among Mr. Reed’s most noted work were his efforts in drafting and petitioning the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973. The goal of this act was to “conserve, protect, restore, and propagate certain species of native fish and wildlife.” The act allows legislators to put laws into place to protect the species listed as endangered or threatened. Mr. Reed, who worked for the U.S. Department of Interior at the time, was instrumental in getting the act passed into law.

Conservation giant, Nathaniel Reed, who helped pass milestone legislation like the clean air, clean water, and endgangered species act inspects his home territory on Lake Okeechobee, in search of snail kites. Photo by: Mac Stone

Mr. Reed also led conservation efforts throughout Florida, where he worked with  iLCP Fellows Carlton Ward Jr. and Mac Stone.

Senior Fellow, Carlton Ward Jr. stated: “His work helped save Big Cypress National Preserve from development – the primary stronghold and foundation for the recovery of the endangered Florida panther. He also supported my Florida Wildlife Corridor work which can help keep Big Cypress and the Everglades connected to the rest of America.”

Two above images: Florida Panthers, the species has been on the U.S. Endangered Species List since its creation in 1973, thanks to the help of Nathaniel Reed. Photos by Carlton Ward Jr.

Mr. Reed’s work in Florida is immeasurable. A few of his major highlights include providing unwavering support for the protection of the Everglades, chairing a commission to protect a huge amount of wild lands, and helping found the 1,000 Friends of Florida group.

iLCP is mourning the loss of this great man as we reflect on his life’s work and accomplishments. We hope to pay tribute to him by continuing to work for the protection of species and the environment.