Life in The Florida Keys During The 1970s

Flip Schulke (June 24, 1930, Cornish, New Hampshire; died: May 15, 2008, West Palm Beach, Florida) documented everyday life in the Florida Keys during the 1970s for the US Documerica Project (1971-1977) . A teacher at the University of Missouri’s Columbia School of Journalism, Schulke was aided in his mission by several students.

For the Documerica Project (1971-1977), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired freelance photographers to capture images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life in the 1970s.

These photos are terrific, especially the ones of retirees at play:

 

A Resident of One of the Many Retirement Hotels in the South Beach Area of Miami Beach. Nearby Is the Longest Stretch of Public Beach in the Area.

A Resident of One of the Many Retirement Hotels in the South Beach Area of Miami Beach. Nearby Is the Longest Stretch of Public Beach in the Area.

A Typical Developer's Sign in the Florida Keys.

A Typical Developer’s Sign in the Florida Keys.

"Mah-Jong" at the Club-House of the Century Village Retirement Community.

“Mah-Jong” at the Club-House of the Century Village Retirement Community.

Blocks of Concrete From Road Repair Have Been Dumped on a Partially Cleared Section of Ohio, Or "Sunshine" Key. Half of This Small Key Has Been Dredged and Filled to Make Way for a "Travel-Trailer" Camp.

Blocks of Concrete From Road Repair Have Been Dumped on a Partially Cleared Section of Ohio, Or “Sunshine” Key. Half of This Small Key Has Been Dredged and Filled to Make Way for a “Travel-Trailer” Camp.

Ben and Hildred Ratner Enjoy an Evening of Music in Their Apartment in Century Village Retirement Community. Mr. Ratner Is a Professional Musician. Their Apartment Is Typical of Those in the Village Complex.

Ben and Hildred Ratner Enjoy an Evening of Music in Their Apartment in Century Village Retirement Community. Mr. Ratner Is a Professional Musician. Their Apartment Is Typical of Those in the Village Complex.

Bicycle Club of the Century Village Retirement Community Meets Each Morning.

Bicycle Club of the Century Village Retirement Community Meets Each Morning.

Apartment Under Construction at Century Village Retirement Community. The Entire Complex of 7,838 Units (Individually-Owned Condominiums) Is Due to Be Completed in the Spring of 1974.

Apartment Under Construction at Century Village Retirement Community. The Entire Complex of 7,838 Units (Individually-Owned Condominiums) Is Due to Be Completed in the Spring of 1974.

Big Touring Car Abandoned at Little Duck Key, a Small Undeveloped and Uninhabited Island in the Lower Florida Keys Usually Used for Fishing and Camping.

Big Touring Car Abandoned at Little Duck Key, a Small Undeveloped and Uninhabited Island in the Lower Florida Keys Usually Used for Fishing and Camping.

Beach at Little Duck Key. Camping Is Popular Throughout the Keys, and Many Have Large Commercial Facilities. These Do Not Yet Exist at Little Duck, But Camping and Trailers Are Permitted.

Beach at Little Duck Key. Camping Is Popular Throughout the Keys, and Many Have Large Commercial Facilities. These Do Not Yet Exist at Little Duck, But Camping and Trailers Are Permitted.

Aerial View of State Park on Long Key, Midway between Key Largo and Key West. View Shows a Segment of the Overseas Highway the Longest Over-Water Road in the World.

Aerial View of State Park on Long Key, Midway between Key Largo and Key West. View Shows a Segment of the Overseas Highway the Longest Over-Water Road in the World.

Aerial View of the Marco Island Land Development, on the Southwestern Coast of Florida. Some of the Canals Seen Here Are Blocked From the Gulf of Mexico by Means of "Land Plugs."

Aerial View of the Marco Island Land Development, on the Southwestern Coast of Florida. Some of the Canals Seen Here Are Blocked From the Gulf of Mexico by Means of “Land Plugs.”

A Retired Couple From California Stop to Fish Off Embankment at Spanish Harbor Key. Travel-Trailers of the Kind Owned by This Couple Are Highly Popular Among Visitors to the Keys.

A Retired Couple From California Stop to Fish Off Embankment at Spanish Harbor Key. Travel-Trailers of the Kind Owned by This Couple Are Highly Popular Among Visitors to the Keys.

Abandoned Car in North Key Largo.

Abandoned Car in North Key Largo.

Beach at Ohio, Or "Sunshine" Key.

Beach at Ohio, Or “Sunshine” Key.

A Member of the South Beach Retirement Community Enjoys the Sun and Sea Air. Most of the Retirees in the Area Live in Inexpensive Residential Hotels Within Walking Distance of the Public Beach.

A Member of the South Beach Retirement Community Enjoys the Sun and Sea Air. Most of the Retirees in the Area Live in Inexpensive Residential Hotels Within Walking Distance of the Public Beach.

At Bahia Honda State Park, on Bahia Honda Key.

At Bahia Honda State Park, on Bahia Honda Key.

Boating on One of the Lakes in Century Village Retirement Community.

Boating on One of the Lakes in Century Village Retirement Community.

Cove at Conch Key, a Lobster Fishing Community. This Is One of the Smaller Islands of the Lower Florida Keys.

Cove at Conch Key, a Lobster Fishing Community. This Is One of the Smaller Islands of the Lower Florida Keys.

Diver with Group of Shell Oil Scientists at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park near Key Largo Examines a Map of the Underwater Preserve.

Diver with Group of Shell Oil Scientists at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park near Key Largo Examines a Map of the Underwater Preserve.

Camping at Bahia Honda State Park in the Lower Florida Keys.

Camping at Bahia Honda State Park in the Lower Florida Keys.

Campsite at Ohio, Or "Sunshine" Key. Extensive Dredging Filling and Defoliation Have Taken Place to Make Way for a "Travel-Trailer" Camp.

Campsite at Ohio, Or “Sunshine” Key. Extensive Dredging Filling and Defoliation Have Taken Place to Make Way for a “Travel-Trailer” Camp.

Land Developer's Advertisement.

Land Developer’s Advertisement.

Inexpensive Retirement Hotels Are a Hallmark of the South Beach Area. A Favored Place Is the Front Porch, Where Residents Sit and Chat Or Watch the Activities on the Beach.

Inexpensive Retirement Hotels Are a Hallmark of the South Beach Area. A Favored Place Is the Front Porch, Where Residents Sit and Chat Or Watch the Activities on the Beach.

Freshly Painted Floats Ornament Lobster Traps at Conch Key a Small Island in the Lower Florida Keys. This Is the Off-Season, When Gear Is Brought in and Overhauled. Different Colors Identify Each Fisherman's Floats.

Freshly Painted Floats Ornament Lobster Traps at Conch Key a Small Island in the Lower Florida Keys. This Is the Off-Season, When Gear Is Brought in and Overhauled. Different Colors Identify Each Fisherman’s Floats.

Lives of the Many Elderly Persons Who Have Chosen South Beach for Their Retirement Years Revolve Around the Beach. It Is the Longest Stretch of Public Beach in the Area.

Lives of the Many Elderly Persons Who Have Chosen South Beach for Their Retirement Years Revolve Around the Beach. It Is the Longest Stretch of Public Beach in the Area.

Members of the Large Retirement Population of South Beach These Ladies Live in One of the Many Residential Hotels That Border the Public Beach.

Members of the Large Retirement Population of South Beach These Ladies Live in One of the Many Residential Hotels That Border the Public Beach.

Residents of Century Village, a New Retirement Community Sun Themselves at Poolside. The Entire Village of 7,838 Units (Individually-Owned Condominiums) Is Due for Completion in the Spring of 1974.

Residents of Century Village, a New Retirement Community Sun Themselves at Poolside. The Entire Village of 7,838 Units (Individually-Owned Condominiums) Is Due for Completion in the Spring of 1974.

Organized Daily Exercises at the Century Village Retirement Community.

Organized Daily Exercises at the Century Village Retirement Community.

Park Benches of the South Beach Area of Miami Beach Are Favorite Meeting Places for Members of the Area's Large Retirement Community

Park Benches of the South Beach Area of Miami Beach Are Favorite Meeting Places for Members of the Area’s Large Retirement Community

On the Public Beach Pier.

On the Public Beach Pier, Florida Kys

Residents of the Century Village Retirement Community Take Part in Organized Daily Exercises.

Residents of the Century Village Retirement Community Take Part in Organized Daily Exercises.

Playing "Mah-Jong" at the Clubhouse of the Century Village Retirement Community.

Playing “Mah-Jong” at the Clubhouse of the Century Village Retirement Community.

Residents of the Century Village Retirement Community Gather Around Pool for Daily Exercise Session.

Residents of the Century Village Retirement Community Gather Around Pool for Daily Exercise Session.

Resident of a South Beach Retirement Hotel.

Resident of a South Beach Retirement Hotel.

South Beach Has the Longest Stretch of Public Beach in the Miami Area. Thousands of Retired Persons Have Settled Here in Inexpensive Residential Hotels Built Within Walking Distance of the Beach. The Area Now Faces Problems of Over-Development.

South Beach Has the Longest Stretch of Public Beach in the Miami Area. Thousands of Retired Persons Have Settled Here in Inexpensive Residential Hotels Built Within Walking Distance of the Beach. The Area Now Faces Problems of Over-Development.

South Beach, Miami Beach, Is One of the Many Retirement Areas in Southern Florida. Income of the Retirees in This Area Is Not High, and Most Live in Residential Hotels Such as the One Pictured Here.

South Beach, Miami Beach, Is One of the Many Retirement Areas in Southern Florida. Income of the Retirees in This Area Is Not High, and Most Live in Residential Hotels Such as the One Pictured Here.

The South Beach Area of Miami Beach Has Attracted a Growing Colony of People of Retirement Age. This Group Waits for a Bus after a Shopping Trip.

The South Beach Area of Miami Beach Has Attracted a Growing Colony of People of Retirement Age. This Group Waits for a Bus after a Shopping Trip.

Tricycle Club of the Century Village Retirement Community Meets Each Morning.

Tricycle Club of the Century Village Retirement Community Meets Each Morning.

Tricycle Club of the Century Village Retirement Community Meets Each Morning.

Tricycle Club of the Century Village Retirement Community Meets Each Morning.

Tourists Find Refreshment at the Public Beach Pier.

Tourists Find Refreshment at the Public Beach Pier.

Dimensions of the Littering Problem Are Suggested by This Heap of Cold Drink Cans, Salvaged by Girl Scouts at Islamorada in the Central Florida Keys.

Dimensions of the Littering Problem Are Suggested by This Heap of Cold Drink Cans, Salvaged by Girl Scouts at Islamorada in the Central Florida Keys.