SOUTHWEST FLCG DA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
.,,, 2379 BROAD STREET, BROOKSVILLE, FLORIDA 33512-9712
-.-. PHONE (904) 796-7211 SUNCOM 684-1011
-, t, : BRUCE A. SAMSON, Chairman, Tampa WALTER H. HARKALA, Plant City
\ 1961 Wm. O. STUBBS, JR., Vice Chairman, Dade City MARYA. KUMPE, Sarasota
\.i JIM KIMBROUGH, Secretary, Brooksville MICHAEL ZAGORAC, JR., Belleair
RONALD B. LAMBERT, Treasurer, Wauchula
"" DON CRANE, Assistant Secretary, St. Petersburg WILLIAM C. TATUM, Executive Director
""i"" ARCH UPDIKE, JR., Assistant Treasurer, Lake Wales GARY W. KUHL, Deputy Executive Director i i A
January 12, 1983
Ms Victoria J. Tschinkel, Secretary
Department of Environmental Regulation
Twin Tower Office Building
2600 Blairstone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32301
RE: Save Our Rivers Five-Year Plan (1983)
Dear Ms Tschinkel:
Please find enclosed a copy of the Five-Year Plan on the Save Our Rivers
Program which was recently approved by our District Governing Board.
This plan is submitted pursuant to Chapter 373.590, Florida Statutes.
W. C. TATUM
bcc: W. T. Allee
L; M 1- BIlain
L. R. Cannon
D. P. Cole
C. E. Comer
T. E. Cone, Jr.
W. D. Courser
P. M. Dooris
P. G. Hubbell
G. W. Kuhl
T. T. Mullin
W. F. Sietman
W. C. Tatum
SOUTH .' FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
WATER MANAGEMENT LAND ACQUISITION
The Southwest Florida Water Management District would acquire the following types of
lands under the "Save Our Rivers" Program pursuant to Chapter 373.590, Florida
1. Lands necessary to the completion of the Four River Basins, Florida Project, which
would provide environmentally sound flood control and other multi-purpose uses.
Lands acquired would include parcels for such areas as the Green Swamp, Lower
Hillsborough, Upper Hillsborough and Cypress Creek projects.
2. Riverine swamps and flood conveyance corridors, particularly those downstream of
flood detention areas, those in areas of heavy developmental pressure, or those
adjacent to other District land holdings. Purchase of these lands is necessary to
allow the proper functioning of existing and proposed water management projects, as
well as protecting or restoring functions such as water quality and recharge to
natural water systems.
3. Other lands having some unique water management function, such as special
recharge areas or areas essential to protect water supplies, would be considered for
purchase. Examples would be a creek that is a direct tributary to a well field, or the
area surrounding a reservoir which is serving a public water supply source.
Following is a list and brief description of lands which the District envisions acquiring
under the "Save Our Rivers" Program. The five-year plan is considered to be dynamic in
order to allow flexibility both in the lands selected for acquisition and to permit negoti-
ation simultaneously with numerous property owners (within the projects listed). Such a
plan will assure the most effective and expedient utilization of available funds at that
particular time. Attached is a recap (Schedule "A") of the projects.
Green Swamp Flood Detention Area (Green Swamp Basin)
This acquisition is a part of the Green Swamp, an area of great hydrologic significance to
central Florida. Because of the nature of the surface features in the swamp, the area as
a whole possesses a substantial natural water detention capability. Purchase of this
property (12,727 acres) will complete the land requirements for the Green Swamp Flood
Detention Area (FDA)-a project designed to provide flood mitigation for areas along the
Hillsborough and Withlacoochee Rivers Basins.
When added to the District's present holdings in the Green Swamp (over 75,000 acres),
these additional 12,727 acres would place over 87,000 acres in public ownership within
the Green Swamp; this providing flood control and water storage while protecting wet-
lands, water quality, and recharge areas.
Upper Hillsborough Flood Detention Area (Green Swamp, Hillsborough and Withlacoochee
Acquisition of this property will complete the land requirements for the flood detention
area, as proposed under the Four River Basins project. The project is designed to provide
flood mitigation benefits for the Hillsborough and Withlacoochee Rivers Basins.
Additionally, the proposed flood detention area encom-asses a unique hydrologic feature-
the Withlacoochee River/Hillsborough River Overflow. It is at this point that a portion
of the flow from the Withlacoochee River is conveyed to the Hillsborough River.
Anclote Water Storage Lands/Starkev ( inellas-Anclote River Basin)
The District has acquired approximately 1,990 acres within the flood plains of the
Anclote and Pithlachascotee Rivers, a portion of which also serves as a well field for
New Port Richey. Approximately 2,330 adjacent acres are currently under contract for
purchase over the next four years. These lands will provide additional flood plain and
wetland protection. Presently, this area is under considerable development pressure.
Withlacoochee Riverine Corridor "B" (Withlacoochee River Basin)
The acreage included in this proposal encompasses approximately nine miles along the
Withlacoochee River and its swampy flood plain. Acquisition of this property will pre-
serve the hydraulic characteristics of the floodway downstream of the UHFDA, prevent
encroachment on the flood plain, and maintain the natural resources within the area.
Lower Hillsborough Project (Hillsborough River Basin)
As part of the Four River Basins, Florida Project, the District has acquired nearly 15,000
acres of riverine forest and adjoining water storage areas along a ten-mile reach of the
Hillsborough River downstream of the Hillsborough River State Park. Approximately 160
acres of additional land along Flint Creek, from the river upstream to Lake
Thonotosassa, are needed for water management, water storage and floodway purposes.
Myakka River (Manasota Basin)
The proposed land purchase includes approximately 6,680 acres of the "00-year flood
plain of the Myakka River. Along the four and one-half miles of frontage with the
Myakka River, the area is characterized by a scenic, meandering river bordered by dense
hardwoods hammocks. Acquisition of this property would ensure the protection of the
river flood plain and its natural resources. Additionally, acquisition of these lands would
place in public ownership areas contiguous with the Myakka River State Park thus
increasing available recreational lands in the area.
Braden River (Manasota Basin)
Five hundred and thirty (530) acres directly upstream from Ward Lake Reservoir on the
Braden River are proposed for purchase to prevent encroachment into the watershed and
thereby aid in the conservation and protection of water resources.
The Braden River/Ward Lake Reservoir is presently one of three regional sources of
potable water for a large and rapidly growing area of Florida. The proposed acquisition
would directly benefit Ward Lake Reservoir by maintaining a buffer zone that would
prevent and/or reduce activities that could otherwise degrade the quality of water within
the river and its watershed.
Jack Creek (Peace Rivet -asin)
This 864-acre site in Highlands County represents the ten-year flood plain of Jack
Creek. The land is necessary to allow safe discharges to occur from the upstream
structures regulating lake levels in the area. This area is under residential development
pressure on its south and east boundaries.
Lithia/Buckhorn Springs (Alafia River Basin)
Lithia Springs and Buckhorn Springs are separate natural features within the Alafia River
watershed, both of which discharge their waters into the Alafia River system. Their
combined total discharge of 43 million gallons per day (average) represents a significant
contribution to the Alafia River's base flow.
Separately, the Lithia Springs acquisition includes the spring head and a portion of the
Alafia River and its flood plain. Presently the area is operated as a county park.
Purchase of the land would prevent disruption and/or loss of the spring to development
(both industrial and suburban).
The Buckhorn Springs proposal includes the main spring, two other small accessory
springs, and Buckhorn Creek-the spring run formed by their discharge. Acquisition of
this property would prevent degradation and disruption of Buckhorn Springs as well as
protect the natural values of the spring run and the surrounding forested habitat.
Brooker Creek Riverine System Corridors "A" and "B" and the Upper Basin Restoration
Area (Northwest Hillsborough and Pinellas-Anclote River Basins)
Brooker Creek originates in the marshes and swamps of northwest Hillsborough County
and travels less than ten miles into Lake Tarpon in Pinellas County. These 2,186 acres of
wetlands remain essentially intact in an area of extremely rapid suburban development.
Acquisition would prevent encroachment and disruption of these areas.
Cypress Creek Flood Detention Area (Hillsborough River Basin)
This area includes about 6,815 acres of riverine forest associated with the downstream
drainage of the Cypress Creek Flood Detention Area. This area of Pasco County is under
intense development pressure. Acquisition would provide natural flood control and water
Prairie Creek (Peace River Basin)
As a tributary to Shell Creek, the potable water supply source for the City of Punta
Gorda, the 2,752 acres of flood plain along Prairie Creek represents an important natural
resource to the area. Land acquisition would ensure the protection of water supply
sources in these traditionally water-poor areas of DeSoto and Charlotte Counties, as well
as protect other natural resources.
Medard Reservoir Floodway (Alafia River Basin)
The District owns approximately 1,250 acres in the upper reaches of the Little Alafia
River (Hillsborough County) where presently, Medard Reservoir and a county park exist.
An additional 140 acres are proposed for purchase which include the channel of the Little
Alafia River from its point of exit at the Medard Reservoir control structure, down-
stream to its confluence with the Alafia River. Purchase of this floodway is needed to
convey safely the maximum design discharges from the reservoir.
Anclote River Floodway (Pinellas-Anclote and Coastal Rivers Basins)
This 4,328-acre site, in concert with the Starkey lands in Group "A" above, would provide
public ownership of the Anclote River from Seven Springs to the headwater. The flood
plain consists of riverine forests and wetlands which are under considerable development
Withlacoochee Riverine Corridor "A" (Green Swamp Basin)
Located directly downstream from the proposed Green Swamp Flood Detention Area, this
acquisition includes approximately five miles of the channel of the Withlacoochee
River. Acquisition of this property would preserve the floodway in its present state and
ensure that there will be no modifications nor encroachments on the flood plain.
Hillsborough Riverine Corridor "C" (Hillsborough River Basin)
The land included in this acquisition (2,287 acres) covers approximately nine miles along
the Hillsborough River, from a point immediately downstream of the proposed Upper
Hillsborough Flood Detention Area down to the Hillsborough River State Park. Purchase
of this property would preserve the hydraulic characteristics of the Hillsborough River,
protect a natural river corridor and its associated habitat, and add to the flood miti-
gation benefits of the Upper Hillsborough Flood Detention Area project.
Cypress/Trout Creeks (Hillsborough River Basin)
The 13,772 acres of flood plain adjacent to these tributaries of the Hillsborough River
are primarily mixed swamp forests composed of cypress and other hardwoods. These
serve as natural water conveyance and detention systems, in this role the forests also
serve as filtering systems which enhance the quality of water that reaches the Hills-
borough River. At present, this area of Hillsborough and Pasco Counties is under
development pressure. Acquisition of these low-lying forested swamps would prevent
future flood problems while preserving the natural resources of the swamps.
Blackwater Creek (Hillsborough River Basin)
Blackwater Creek, a tributary of the Hillsborough River, has been subject to the same
suburban encroachment generally associated with many areas within this basin. Purchase
of approximately 12,224 acres of Blackwater Creek's flood plain would protect an
essential floodway, prevent further urban encroachment and help alleviate flooding
problems which have developed in the poorly drained upstream areas.
Squirrel Prairie (Coastal Rivers Basin)
Squirrel Prairie is a limestone sink region in southern Hernando County and northern
Pasco County. The area's 1,728 acres normally receive drainage through the numerous
sinkholes, ponds and sloughs. Acquisition of the Squirrel Prairie area would preserve the
area's recharge capabilities and limited flood abatement role.
PROETSCHEDULE "A" LAND
PROJECT BASIN UNTY ACQUIRED NEEDED
Green Swamp FDA Green Swamp Lake, Polk &
Sumter 45,666 12,727
Upper Hillsborough FDA Green Swamp,
Hillsborough Pasco 6,110 8,056
Anclote Water Storage Lands (Starkey) Coastal & Pinellas &
Pinellas-Anclote Pasco 5,990 2,330
Lower Hillsborough FDA (Flint Creek) Hillsborough Hillsborough 14,975 160
Withlacoochee Riverine Corridor "B" Withlacoochee Pasco -0- 11,048
Myakka River Manasota Sarasota -0- 6,680
Braden River Manasota Manatee -0- 530
Jack Creek Peace Highlands -0- 864
Lithia/Buckhorn Springs Alafia Hillsborough -0- 306
Brooker Creek Riverine System
(Corridors "A" and "B") and the NW Hillsborough & Hillsborough &
Upper Basin Restoration Area Pinellas-Anclote Pinellas -0- 2,186
TOTAL GROUP "A" 72,741+ 44,887+
Cypress Creek Hillsborough
Pasco 4,165 6,815
Prairie Creek Peace Charlotte &
DeSoto -0- 2,752
Medard Reservoir Floodway Alafia Hillsborough 1,254 140
Anclote River Floodway Coastal & Pasco &
Pinellas-Anclote Pinellas -0- 4,328
Withlacoochee Riverine Corridor "A" Green Swamp Polk & Pasco -0- 1,918
TOTAL GROUP "B" 5,419+ 15,953+
Hillsborough Riverine Corridor "C" Hillsborough Pasco & Hills. -0- 2,287
Cypress Creek/Trout Creek Hillsborough Pasco & Hills. -0- 13,772
Blackwater Creek Hillsborough Hillsborough -0- 12,224
Squirrel Prairie Coastal Hernando & Pasco -0- 1,728
TOTAL GROUP "C" -0- 30,011+
GRAND TOTAL 78,160+ 90,851+