Maggy Hurchalla, an environmentalist who fought to protect Florida’s wetlands and was a strong supporter of her sister Janet Reno, the former US attorney general, has died. She died Saturday at the age of 81.
The non-profit group Friends of the Everglades confirmed Hurchalla’s death, calling it a legend. “Maggy’s impact on Florida’s conservation movement cannot be overstated,” the group said on its website, adding that her granddaughter Kym Hurchalla is on staff. “His advocacy was fueled by a deep love for the Florida wilderness.” Hurchalla served 20 years as Martin County Commissioner. She also traveled to talk about her sister Reno, who under President Bill Clinton became the first female attorney general of the United States. Hurchalla was a strong supporter of Reno’s 2002 campaign for governor in Florida. In 2013, she lent her voice for an episode of “The Simpsons” featuring Reno as a character. Her sister couldn’t speak any longer because of her Parkinson’s disease, which contributed to her death in 2016.
Hurchalla has played a key role in environmental restoration, serving on the Governor’s Commission for a Sustainable South Florida. She was known for kayaking in the Everglades near her home in Stuart, Florida. “She was a creature of nature, and she took us all the way: her family, her friends, her children, so many county members and complete strangers who just wanted to go for nature walks,” his daughter, Jane Hurchalla, told Treasure Coast newspapers.
Last year, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Hurchalla seeking to overturn a $4 million judgment over his criticism of a rock-mining project near the Everglades.
Her son, George Hurchalla, told the newspaper that she was recovering from a second hip operation on Saturday when she suffered cardiac arrest at home.
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