Marjorie Harris Carr

List of People


Marjorie Harris Carr was a prominent environmental activist and conservationist known for her efforts to protect Florida’s natural resources, particularly the Cross Florida Barge Canal project. Born in 1915 in Boston, Massachusetts, Carr moved to Florida as a child and developed a deep love for the state’s unique ecosystems and wildlife.

Carr’s environmental advocacy gained prominence in the 1960s when she actively opposed the Cross Florida Barge Canal. She recognized the detrimental impact the canal would have on Florida’s aquifer systems, wetlands, and biodiversity. Carr and other conservationists argued that the canal would disrupt natural water flows, degrade water quality, and threaten endangered species such as the manatee.

In 1969, Carr founded the Florida Defenders of the Environment (FDE), an organization dedicated to protecting Florida’s natural resources and advocating for preserving the state’s environmental heritage. FDE became a leading voice in the fight against the canal, advocating for its halt on ecological grounds.

Carr’s advocacy efforts were instrumental in raising awareness about the canal’s ecological consequences and mobilizing public opposition. Her work included legal challenges, lobbying efforts, and educational campaigns to rally support for conservation efforts. Carr’s leadership and determination played a pivotal role in shifting public and political opinion against the canal.

In 1991, Carr was awarded the Audubon Medal for her lifetime achievements in conservation. She continued to be involved in environmental causes until her passing in 1997. Marjorie Harris Carr’s legacy as a tireless advocate for Florida’s environment lives on through the preservation of natural areas such as the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, named in her honor, which protects much of the land once slated for the Cross Florida Barge Canal. Her work remains an inspiration to conservationists and environmentalists advocating for the protection of natural habitats worldwide.