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'Ding' Darling monthly cartoon

July 16, 2019
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

This week we once again honor the 75th anniversary of the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge with one of Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling's Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoons. Darling sounded the alarm about water quality degradation as far back as this political cartoon published in Aug. 9, 1923. It went under various titles, including "What man does to one of the most beautiful gifts of nature-the river" and "How we poison our rivers." Note the fish's comment: "And then they complain because self respecting fish won't live in their streams." Later, in the 1940s, when Darling was visiting Sanibel and Captiva islands on a regular basis, he was outraged by a catastrophic case of red tide that sparked a stream of vehement letters to various governmental agencies and publications to try to get to the cause of the problem.

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