top of page
Tarpon 2003 (4).jpg


"The environment is Islamorada’s economy. I’ve always known it. And as the Everglades go, so goes Islamorada. Not only does the Everglades provide us with our drinking water and Florida Bay with the freshwater it needs to survive, but it also drives our region's $20+ Billion tourist economy and is home to a bio-diversity not found anywhere else in the United States. Once you have experienced America's Everglades, your life is forever enriched.

Within its boundaries are four national parks, 12 national wildlife refuges, two national marine sanctuaries, the first-ever national preserve, 10 state aquatic preserves, and 20 state parks, recreation, and wildlife management areas. It’s a World Heritage Site, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and a RAMSAR Wetland. Our most valued legacy for future generations will be the long-term constancy of our natural wonders."
~ Mary Barley ~


In her fight for Everglades restoration and taxpayer equity, Mary has crisscrossed not only the State of Florida but the nation, to bring the plight of America's Everglades to the public's attention.  

As a nationally renowned advocate of the polluter pay concept, Mary has been a vocal critic of corporate welfare, and a steadfast advocate for taxpayer equity. Mary spearheaded the passage of the Polluter Must Pay amendment to the Florida Constitution.

In 2000, under Mary's leadership, the Restoring the Everglades, An American Legacy Act, was signed into law authorizing the $8 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.  

Mary’s efforts on behalf of America’s Everglades are not only saving an ecosystem from extinction, her hard work and dedication are infusing South Florida’s economy with hundreds of millions of dollars, and thousands of high-paying jobs.

Conservation, taxpayer equity, preserving our natural resources and water supply, protecting property rights, and advocating for future generations, these are the principles Mary Barley will bring to the Islamorada Village Council.

Pictured above: As chair of the Everglades Trust, Mary’s early support and endorsement of Governor Ron DeSantis has paid off in spades for the Everglades. More progress has been made over the past four years than ever before. 



Mary Barley currently serves on the board of The Everglades Foundation, having served as vice chairperson from 2003 to 2012 and chairperson from 1995 to 2002. Barley also serves on the boards of the WWF National Council, Zoo Miami, and Wild Oceans. Mary formerly served on the Atlantic Salmon Federation (U.S.), the Community Foundation of the Keys, Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation, the National Parks Conservation Association, Sierra Foundation, and Clean Water Action. 

Mary has received many awards and accolades for her work, including being designated an honorary Miccosukee and an Honorary Conch. She has been profiled in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Time’s 1999 Hero of the Planet and 2013 Women’s History Month. 

In 2016 she was honored as a Game Changer: Women in Wild Atlantic Salmon and Environmental Conservation, and in 2016 she was named one of 100 most influential people in Florida politics by Influence magazine.

Pictured above: The culmination of years of work, Republicans and Democrats in Tallahassee and Washington, DC, ushered in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan at one of President Bill Clinton’s last bill signings. Mary is joined by the late Congressman Clay Shaw, the fiercest of Everglades champions, then-Governor Jeb Bush, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham, and the late Congresswoman Carrie Meeks. 


In 2021, award-winning NPR Reporter Amy Green released her non-fiction, Moving Water: The Everglades and Big Sugar. Ms. Green’s work is the first ever true look at some of the people who have given their time, their treasure and, some, their lives to ensure the survival of one of the most precious and important ecosystems on Earth. 

“In Moving Water, journalist Amy Green unfurls the intricately threaded story of Mary and George Barley, showing how they used science and the law to help create the movement to restore the endangered Florida Everglades. Although the Barleys’ heroic efforts speak for themselves, Green’s clarity and deft research make the couple’s public service vivid and memorable. Tracing the battle to make Big Sugar and others pay their fair share to clean up the pollution they are responsible for in the Everglades, this book is a must-read. Restoring what remains of this fragile and important ecosystem should be everyone’s concern.” – Bill Maxwell, Tampa Bay Times

bottom of page