Ted Hoverson

Location of Interview
Collection Name

Changes in the Florida Keys Marine Ecosystem Based Upon Interviews with Experienced Residents


"Changes in the Florida Keys Marine Ecosystem Based Upon Interviews with Experienced Residents" is a  collection by Karen DeMaria of Summerland Key, FL completed in April 1996. Funded by the Nature Conservancy and the Center for Marine Conservation, the project sought to describe through oral history interviews, environmental changes in the Florida Keys marine ecosystem. 


National Capital Contracting 

Biographical Sketch

Ted Hoverson, of Sugarloaf Key, Florida, is a seasoned professional with a background in public service, having dedicated a significant portion of his career to working for the U.S. Post Office and U.S. Customs. His tenure in these roles has provided him with a unique perspective on the operational intricacies of federal agencies, particularly in the context of the Florida Keys, where he has been stationed. Hoverson's experience in the region has not only made him well-versed in the logistical and regulatory aspects of his job but has also given him a deep appreciation for the local environment and its ecological dynamics. His career has spanned a period of considerable change, both in terms of the evolving challenges faced by government agencies in enforcing regulations and in the shifting environmental landscape of the Keys. Hoverson's insights are informed by his firsthand observations and the breadth of his experience in the area, making him a valuable source of historical and contemporary knowledge about the region. Throughout his career, Hoverson has developed a keen understanding of the complexities involved in maintaining the balance between regulatory enforcement and environmental stewardship. His work has often placed him at the intersection of human activity and natural ecosystems, where he has witnessed the impacts of policy, commerce, and community interactions on the environment. Hoverson's commitment to his duties and his deep-rooted connection to the Florida Keys have shaped his perspective on the importance of preserving the region's unique marine and terrestrial habitats. His professional journey reflects a life spent in service to his country and community, with a particular focus on the challenges and rewards of working in a region as dynamic and ecologically significant as the Florida Keys.

Scope and Content Note
The oral history interview with Ted Hoverson encompasses a detailed discussion on the environmental degradation of the Florida Keys, with a particular focus on the Hawk Channel. Hoverson provides insights into the decline of marine life, including significant reductions in fish populations like mackerel and grouper, and the disappearance of jewfish over the past decade. He attributes these changes to various factors, including the use of fish traps and the overall deterioration of water conditions. The conversation further explores the negative impact of development on water clarity and the broader implications for the local marine ecosystem. Hoverson also reflects on his professional experiences with the U.S. Post Office and U.S. Customs, and how these roles have given him a vantage point to observe the decline in boat traffic and the downturn in the commercial fishing industry. Additionally, the interview sheds light on the history of drug smuggling in the region, detailing the evolution of smuggling methods, the types of boats utilized, and the innovative ways smugglers have concealed drugs over the years. Through Hoverson's narrative, the interview paints a vivid picture of the challenges faced by the Florida Keys, both from an environmental and law enforcement perspective.

Please Note: The oral histories in this collection are protected by copyright and have been created for educational, research and personal use as described by the Fair Use Doctrine in the U.S. Copyright law. Please reach out  Voices@noaa.gov to let us know how these interviews are being used in your research, project, exhibit, etc.  The Voices staff can help provide other useful resources related to your inquiry. 

The NOAA mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. The Voices Oral History Archives offers public access to a wide range of accounts, including historical materials that are products of their particular times, and may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes.

Voices Oral History Archives does not verify the accuracy of materials submitted to us. The opinions expressed in the interviews are those of the interviewee only. The interviews here have been made available to the public only after the interviewer has confirmed that they have obtained consent.