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Pulitzer winner paints optimistic picture of Gulf of Mexico

Author of “The Gulf: Making of an American Sea” delivers keynote at Sarasota environmental summit

SARASOTA — Dr. Jack Davis painted a lush portrait of the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday evening with his keynote speech at the opening reception for the 2018 Environmental Summit.

He started by describing a majestic vision of 19th-century era painter Winslow Homer’s experiences fishing among the marshlands of the Homosassa River, then discussed the Gulf’s formation and its impact on human existence.

Davis, who won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for his book “The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea,” had been doing researching for the book prior to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He said he wanted to show the rest of America that the Gulf of Mexico is more than an oil spill and sunny beaches.

Davis, a history professor at the University of Florida, said he wanted to reveal “the Gulf that I knew and that I wanted Americans to know.”