Southwest 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.
a. Completion of the land acquisition necessary to the Four River
Basin, Florida Project. Examples include the Green Swamp and
Cypress Creek areas, both providing environmentally sound flood
control as well as other benefits.
b. Riverine swamps and corridors especially in areas of heavy development
pressure or adjacent to other District land holdings. These lands
are necessary to allow the proper functioning of the existing water
management system as well as preserving or restoring the natural water
management functions such as water quality and recharge maintenance.
c. Other lands having some unique water management function, such as
special recharge areas or water supply protection. An example is
Prairie Creek in Charlotte County a direct tributary to the water
supply for Punta Gorda.
Following is a preliminary priority list and brief description of lands which
the District envisions acquiring under the "Save-Our Rivers" Program. The
priority is described as "preliminary" since no formal action has been taken by
the District's Governing Board and any acquisition would also be affected by
possible negotiations. The District views the flexibility of a dynamic list as
a key in providing the most efficient land acquisition possible.
1. Green Swamp Project
As part of the Four River Basin, Florida Project, the District has
acquired over 75,000 acres in the Green Swamp Area. An additional
18,941 acres are needed to complete this project which would provide
flood control, preserve or restore wetlands, water quality, floodplain,
recharge areas, while providing a good potential for recreational and
water supply development.
2. Anclote Water Storage Lands (Starkey)
The District has acquired 5,400 acres in the .floodplains of the Anclote-
and Pithlachascotee Rivers, which also serves as a wellfield for New Port
Richey. Approximately 2,900 acres are currently under discussion with Mr.
Starkey for additional floodplain and wetland preservation. This area is
under considerable development pressure.
3. Withlacoochee and Hillsborough Riverine Corridors
The acquisition of these lands in concert with completion of the Green
Swamp Project, would put the headwaters floodplains of the Hillsborough
and Withlacoochee Rivers entirely in public ownership. These corridors
cover over 15,000 acres and consist primarily of hardwood forests and
swamps. These lands function as a natural conveyance for flood waters and
have natural water storage capabilities.
4. Cypress Creek
.This area includes about 7,250 acres of cypress forest associated with
Sthe downstream drainage of the Cypress Creek Flood Detention Area. This
part of the Hillsborough and Pasco Counties is under intense development
pressure. Acquisition would provide natural flood control and water supply
5. MacArthur Tract
This 30,000-acre site could provide various water management functions,
from water conservation, wetlands protection and water supply. The site
is in an area under heavy development pressure with limited naturally
available potable water.
6. Brooker Creek Riverine System
Brooker Creek originates in the marshes and swamps of Northwest Hillsborough
County and travels less than 10 miles into Lake Tarpon in Pinellas County.
This 1,015-acre wetland remains essentially intact in an area of extremely
rapid suburban development.
7. Medard Reservoir Floodway
The District owns approximately 1,250 acres in the upper reaches of the
Alafia River in Hillsborough County. A reservoir and park exist on the
site already owned. An additional 140 acres are necessary along the river
to allow maximum discharges to occur safely without additional structural
8. Jack Creek
This 864-acre site in Highlands County represents the 10-year floodplain
of Jack Creek. The land is necessary to allow safe discharges to occur
from the structures regulating lake levels in the area. This area is
under residential development pressure on its south and east boundaries.
9. Sawgrass Lake
The District has acquired 360 acres in Pinellas County as a water retention
area which protects the surrounding communities from flood damage. The
District operates the retention area in a manner which preserves and restores
the natural wetlands of the area. In 1977, the District built an environ-
mental education center in cooperation with the School Board and Parks
Department of Pinellas County. The complex contains 5,700 feet of
boardwalk and 2,900 feet of footpaths which provide opportunities for a
close examination of the flora and fauna. The acquisition of 40 acres
would provide for expansion of the complex and its water management
10. Anclote River Floodway
This 4,328-acre site, in concert with the Starkey lands in No. 2 above,
would provide public ownership of the Anclote River from Seven Springs
to the headwater. The floodplain consists of riverine forests and wet-
lands which are under considerable development pressure.
11. Cypress Creek/Trout Creek
The 9,984 acres covered by these tributaries of the Hillsborough River
are primarily mixed swamp forests composed of cypress and other hard-
woods. At present, this area of Hillsborough County is under develop-
Acquisition of these low-lying forested swamps would prevent future
flood problems while preserving the natural resources of the swamps.
12. Blackwater Creek
Blackwater Creek, as a tributary of the Hillsborough River, has been
subject to the same urban encroachment generally associated with river
forest areas of Hillsborough County. Purchase of approximately 12,224
acres of Blackwater Creek's floodplain would prevent further urban
encroachment and alleviate the concurrent flooding problems which have
developed in this poorly drained area.
13. Squirrel Prairie
Squirrel Prairie is a limestone sink region in southern Hernando County
and northern Pasco County. The area's 1,728 acres channel drainage to
the subsurface 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.
14. Prairie Creek
As a potential source of potable water to the cities of Punta Gorda
and Port Charlotte, the 2,752 acres of hardwood floodplain forest
along Prairie Creek represent 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 Char-
lotte Counties, as well as the forest resources.
15. Gum Slough
The 4,416 acres designated for purchase along Gum Slough represent
the ten-year flood elevations in this portion of the Withlacoochee
River (Sumter County). The area is primarily extensive hardwood
swamps that extend to the northeastern shore of Lake Tsala Apopka.
Purchase of these lands would preserve large areas of relatively
undisturbed wetlands and swamp forests along with their wildlife
and water resources.
16. Tatum Sawgrass
Located in Sarasota County, the 4,300 acres proposed for acquisition
would include large areas of marshlands and peripheral hammocks that
may provide flood storage within the area, as well as ensuring water
conservation both in supply and quality. Additionally, acquisition
would prevent agricultural encroachment upon wetlands and therefore
preserve the wildlife resources of the area.
1. GREEN SWAMP PROJECT
A. GREEN SWAMP F.D.A.
B. UPPER HILLSSOROUGH F.D.A.
C. LITTLE WITHLACOOCHEE F.D.A.
2. ANCLOTE WATER STORAGE LANDS
3. WITHLACOOCHEE & HILLSBOROUGH
A. CORRIDOR "A" (WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER)
B. CORRIDOR '" (WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER)
C. CORRIDOR "C" (HILLS8OROUGH RIVER)
4. CYPRESS CREEK
5. MAC ARTHUR
6. BROKER CREEK RIVERINE SYSTEM
A. CORRIDOR "A" (HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY) 1
B. CORRIDOR B" (PINELLAS COUNTY)3-
7. MEDARD RESERVOIR FLOODWAY
8. JACK CREEK
9. SAWGRASS LAKE
10. ANCLOTE RIVER FLOODWAY
11. CYPRESS CREEK/TROUT CREEK CORRIDOR )
12. BLACKWATER CREEK
13. SQUIRREL PRAIRIE
14. PRAIRIE CREEK
15. GUM SLOUGH
16. TATUM SAWGRASS D )
i* i li
0) 00 00 00 00 000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
i g a a ^ a u a a s s ?
"8 "4 mh o V 4 o m t w o
N qD (Olt n cc'a
a 8 ^ o a lb o ft 4s % lo qb % S s i
s- 4 P- C4 0 0%D %D
% 04MO 0 0 8 a Q 0 a 0 9
a 0 8 a03 a 0
l R% N 0 000 o0
C%; co qv g a a Go a co
0 l n a o on 0 o 0 N o % W.
m N 0. 4 t% "4; N o) r r o S C; % %, l
NB coo co C%0 0 m w 'm 0a '0 4
IV N 9 % N N D
SR kj %D S S I
S4 4 4 N P4 M 4 P4
a0f f-4 U% do 0 'D r-0m
qf0 5 in 04 4 0 0 0 0,N 0
rNo N Oa N N 0 w 0 "4 0 4l 9 N l
P-0 4 c0 N4 "4 UP% 4 N0) N 4 04 C
"4-4 "4 04'r"4
*)N (4 N "4 I 8
+* "Q 0 o 0) I u, a I .. Ii SS3 0 I I
u)c4) U)C U) 4'S "4aa V) 9 aa l a
y 0^ 0 U)v^ ^ r (
Q & Q U) Q CY C- ( V) c +' CF C< p
sa g o.l g ^c -a rl s^ l ti QI CY rl (9 ag^s s"
SIr( '4 L 4 0 l 0 l N LA '
4 4 4 4Q "4 4. S
I r r