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Max Quackenbos Collection

Identifier: MS 262

Scope and Content

The Max Quackenbos Collection provides information about a variety of environmental activities and discussions related to Martin County and South Florida that took occurred from the late 1970s to the turn of the century. In particular, the materials provide a great deal of evidence about the meetings and activities of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) because Quackenbos was a regular meeting attendee and planning participant. The collection includes studies, reports, meeting agendas, correspondence, presentation materials, plans, newsletters, clippings, and notes. Correspondents include SFWMD personnel, environmentalist Nathaniel Reed, members of state and local environmental groups, and various Martin County Commissioners. Some of the correspondence from the 1970s and 1980s is the correspondence of Donald B. Benedict with the Martin County Conservation Alliance.

The files in the collection were divided into multiple categories. The Water files contain materials focusing on water supply and quality, SFWMD, the Everglades, water management plans, and sustainability. The Wetlands files primarily pertain to wetland mitigation, lakes and rivers, restoration of the Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee, phosphorus levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Everglades, and the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Plan. The Indian River Lagoon files pertain to the National Estuary Program, the St. Lucie Estuary, the SWIM plan, and other matters related to the Indian River Lagoon. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) files focus on the plan to restore and protect the Everglades and the water resources of central and southern Florida. The General files include reports, statistics, correspondence and newsletters covering miscellaneous topics including SFWMD, St. Lucie River, storm water, canals, water quality and use, and general information about Florida's natural environment.

Although the files are divided into categories, there is a great deal of overlap between the groups. For example, all of the groups contain SFWMD reports, evaluations, annual reports and budgets, studies, and plans, particularly relating to Martin County, St. Lucie River, and Lake Okeechobee.


  • Creation: 1977-2002



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

As a leading member of organizations such as the Martin County Conservation Alliance, the St. Lucie River Initiative and the Rivers Coalition, Harrie Maxwell "Max" Quackenbos, Jr. has devoted several years to environmental issues in Stuart, Florida, and the surrounding region. Quackenbos graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1941 and spent his career as a chemical engineer working in the chemical and plastics industry for corporations such as DuPont and Union Carbide. After retiring, he became involved in environmental groups in Stuart. Starting in the 1980s Quackenbos became a regular attendee and participant in local and state meetings, particularly meetings of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).

The Martin County Conservation Alliance formed in 1965 under the leadership of members from several local environmental groups. The Alliance sought to "promote the protection, preservation, enhancement, and sustainability of the natural environment of Martin County." The SFWMD was created in 1972 by the Florida Legislature as the regional governmental agency responsible for water quality and supply, flood control, and environmental restoration in sixteen counties from the Orlando region to the Florida Keys. Quackenbos and other Stuart citizens formed the St. Lucie River Initiative (SLRI) in 1991 because of the river's continuing decline. The Rivers Coalition, which was formed in 1998 with SLRI as a founding member organization, is dedicated to restoring and protecting the St. Lucie River Estuary and Indian River Lagoon.


5.25 Linear feet (9 boxes)

Language of Materials



Documents pertaining to a variety of environmental activities related to Martin County, South Florida, and the Everglades. In particular, the materials provide evidence about the meetings and activities of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) because Max Quackenbos was a regular meeting attendee and planning participant. Other topics include the Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee, Indian River Lagoon, and the St. Lucie River.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by Max Quackenbos.

Related Material

Related materials are available in the Nathaniel P. Reed Everglades Papers at the University of Florida.

A Guide to the Max Quackenbos Collection
Finding aid created by John R. Nemmers
September 2009
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America