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Group Title: A Historical Geography of Southwest Florida Waterways Volume One - Anna Maria Sound to Lemon Bay ( FLSGP-M-99-004 )
Title: A Historical Geography of Southwest Florida Waterways Volume Two - Placida Harbor to Marco Island ( FLSGP-M-02-003 )
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00093670/00002
 Material Information
Title: A Historical Geography of Southwest Florida Waterways Volume Two - Placida Harbor to Marco Island ( FLSGP-M-02-003 )
Series Title: A Historical Geography of Southwest Florida Waterways Volume One - Anna Maria Sound to Lemon Bay ( FLSGP-M-99-004 )
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Antonini, G.A., D.A. Fann, and P. Roat
Publisher: Florida Sea Grant
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Publication Date: 2002
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00093670
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover 1
        Front cover 2
        Page 1
    Title Page
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
    Front Matter
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Introduction
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Main
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    Back Cover
        Page 169
        Page 170
Full Text







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11 Caloosabatcbee River 2001, pOO oto kp Lee Comlty Mosquito Control
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31 caloosabiatcee River Perspective mrap, Datvic Faln


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A Historical Geograpby
of Southwest Fioriba Waterways
VOLUME TWO
Placiba Harbor to Marco IslanM
2002











Table of Contents


8 Introduction

12 Historical Development of
Southwest Florida Waterways
12 The Boating Geography of Southwest Florida Before Coastal Development
18 Dredging History of Southwest Florida Inland Waterways
28 Dredging of Access Channels and Residential Canal Development
48 Case Studies: Rotonda West, Cape Coral, Marco Island
60 Photographic Record of Waterway Changes
82 Land Use and Land Cover Changes Along the Shoreline

104 Inlet Dynamics
104 Inlet Locations and Status
108 Inlet Features
109 Type of Inlets
110 Historical Changes

132 Altering the Caloosahatchee
for Land and Water Development
132 Pre-development Geography
140 Land Reclamation or River Navigation?
142 Contemporary Geography
144 Changes on the Waterway and Along the Waterfront

158 Charting Waterway Changes

162 Glossary

164 Scientific, Technical and Boating-Related
Information on the Waterways
of Southwest Florida









Acknowledgments


This project has benefited from the advice and gener-
ous assistance of many representatives of federal, state,
and local public agencies; individuals with non-govern-
mental organizations; and private citizens. We gratefully
acknowledge their interest and help in presenting this
historical geography of Southwest Florida waterways.
Chuck Listowski (Executive Director, West Coast In-
land Navigation District, WCIND) inspired us to con-
sider as our task, not only providing the public with a
broader understanding of the historic roots of coastal de-
velopment, but also establishing a scientific baseline
needed by planners and elected officials to set policy and
implement waterway resource management. The WCIND
Board elected commissioners from Manatee County
(Joe McClash, Chair), Sarasota County (Nora Paterson
and Shannon Staub, Alternate), Charlotte County (Mac
Horton), and Lee County (Ray Judah) provided en-
couragement throughout the project.
A special note of thanks to the Florida Sea Grant (FSG)
staff; its Director, Jim Cato; Assistant Director for Exten-
sion, Mike Spranger; Steve Kearl, Communications Di-
rector; Marine Agents Rich Novak (Charlotte County)
and Bob Wasno (Lee County); and Betty Spivey, Office
Manager, for their unstinting support. FSG cartographic
staff, Bob Swett and Charles Sidman, provided invalu-
able help with GIS analysis and mapping.
Archivists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) and the Library of Congress were
especially helpful with researching historic maps, charts,
aerials, and ground photographs. They include: George
Myers and Tyrone Holt (NOAA, Hydrographic Surveys
Branch, Data Control Section); Joan Rikon (NOAA,
National Geodetic Survey, Information Services Branch);
Edward Redmond (National Archives, Cartographic
Branch); and Mary Ann Hawkins (National Archives,
Federal Records Center, Southeast Region). Michelle
Pointer, National Air Survey Center, Bladensburg, Md.,
expedited the processing and printing of hundreds of
archived aerial photographs in the federal collections. Don
Fore, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville Office,
provided references on dredging by the Corps in the re-
gion. Victorina Basauri (Florida Sea Grant) assisted with
this phase of the research.
State, local, and private sources provided historic maps,
aerial photographs, and ground photographs. Sources
include: Sara Nell Gran, Ft. Myers (private postcard col-
lection); Southwest Florida Historical Society, Ft. Myers;
Fort Myers Historical Museum (Stan Mulford and Jackie
Kent); Cape Coral Historical Society Museum (Ann Cull);
Collier County Museum, Naples; Bonita Historical So-
ciety (Jane Hogg); Charlotte Harbor Historical Society
(U.S. Cleveland); City of Naples (Jon Staiger); City of
Marco Island (Nancy Richie); Collier County Natural
Resources (Doug Suitor); and John Pulling (private photo
collection). Archeologist George Luer (Gainesville) offered
information on the aboriginal canals in Southwest
Florida. Harvey Hamilton, Captain of Mr. Ashlee, out
of Four-Winds Marina, Pine Island, was a first-hand
source of the colorful history of Cayo Costa and Punta
Blanca settlements. Captain Dave Tinder, Manatee


World, Ft. Myers, assisted with the Caloosahatchee
reconnaissance. Area residents Terry Forgie (Cabbage
Key), Jack Alexander (Rotonda), and Jim Kalvin
(Collier County) offered historical commentaries and
photograph annotations.
David Doyle, Senior Geodesist, National Geodetic
Survey, generously supplied the information necessary to
transform historic source maps and charts from obsolete
geographic reference systems to modern ones for use in
geographic information system (GIS) computer programs.
The senior author wishes to thank all the boaters, shore
residents and friends in Southwest Florida who came to
his assistance in many ways and thereby made this book
possible. Special mention is made of Jim Gustin,
Amanda Miller, Pat Riley, Hat Rogers, Ken Stead, and
Kiko Villalon.
Rae Ann Wessel (Ecosystems Specialists, Ft. Myers),
who organized a field trip on the Caloosahatchee and
provided the senior author with invaluable insights on
the river's historic and current conditions, deserves spe-
cial thanks. Steve Boutelle (Lee County Natural Resources
Division) and Bob Wasno (Lee County Marine Agent)
gave unstinting assistance in responding to seemingly
endless requests for advice and assistance.
Contemporary vertical aerial photographs and digital
imagery were obtained from the South Florida Water
Management District, Ft. Myers (Tomma Barnes); South-
west Florida Water Management District, Tampa (David
Tomasco); and the Florida Department of Transporta-
tion (Ted Harris). The University of Florida Digital Li-
brary Center (Stephanie Haas) scanned the larger photo-
graphs and maps. Contemporary oblique aerial views were
provided by Gary Sibley, Aerial Photographic Services,
Sarasota, Fla. Lee County Mosquito Control staff made
the special effort to photograph the present day
Caloosahatchee from the historic view point shown on
the book's cover.
The Florida Marine Research Institute (St. Peters-
burg) provided geographic information system (GIS)
coverages of contemporary bathymetry, seagrass beds,
and mangroves.
A special note of thanks to the following individuals
who reviewed the manuscript for technical accuracy and
style: Steve Boutelle (Lee County Natural Resources Di-
vision); Jim Cato and Steve Kearl (Florida Sea Grant Pro-
gram); David Futch (journalist); Elliot Kampert (Char-
lotte County Planning Department); Chuck Listowski
(West Coast Inland Navigation District); John Morrill
(University of South Florida/New College, Environmen-
tal Studies Program); Max Sheppard (University of
Florida, Coastal Engineering Department); John Staiger
(City of Naples); and Warren Yasso (Columbia Univer-
sity, Teachers College).
Meredith Manzella (Coastal Printing, Inc., Sarasota)
shepherded the manuscript seamlessly through the pro-
cess of proofreading, typesetting, printing, and binding.
The West Coast Inland Navigation District provided
funds for the research and publication, through the Re-
gional Waterway Management Program.


Sea'W1
Forida




A publication
funded by the West
Coast Inland
Navigation District,
Venice, Fla. The
views expressed
are those of the
authors and do not
necessarily reflect
the views of WCIND
or any of its
member counties.











About the Authors


Gustavo A. Antonini is Sea Grant Professor Emeritus
at the University of Florida and Managing Member of
the waterways consulting firm, Antonini & Associates,
LLC. Gus received B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from
Columbia University in New York City. He was a Profes-
sor of Geography at the University of Florida from 1970
to 2000 and affiliated with the Florida Sea Grant Pro-
gram, as the Boating Extension Specialist, from 1988 to
2000. The Sea Grant Boating Program he directed re-
ceived the Governor's Council for a Sustainable Florida
Year 2000 Award.
Prior to 1988, he worked mostly in the Caribbean and
Latin America on natural resource and watershed man-
agement issues. Since 1988, Gus has focused on Florida
coastal management and marine recreation planning
projects, dealing with boat live-aboards, derelict ves-
sel removal, hurricane recovery, artificial reef moni-
toring, anchoring, waterway management and boat
traffic evaluations.
Gus has boated in Florida for 30 years and has cruised
the Caribbean, Bahamas and U.S. eastern seaboard aboard
a Cheoy Lee Cruisaire 35, La Vida, which also serves as a
self-contained field station for waterway research. Gus
holds a Merchant Marine Master's Ticket (100 tons), and
is a 28-year member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
When not boating or consulting on Southwest Florida
waterways, Gus is training on his bike for ultra-marathon
brevets or cycle-touring in some distant, exotic locale.


David A. Fann is a geographer with the Florida Sea
Grant College Program, University of Florida, Gainesville.
He received a B.S. in Technical Journalism and a M.S. in
Geography from the University of Florida. He performs
Geographic Information System (GIS) analyses, creates
map-based educational publications for recreational boat-
ers, and participates in field data collection whenever pos-
sible. Along with A Historical Geography of Southwest
Florida Waterways, Volumes One and Two, his primary fo-
cus in recent years has been the Regional Waterway Man-
agement System project in Manatee, Sarasota, and Lee
Counties. This project gathers information on waterway
conditions and boat populations, analyzes both kinds of
data in a GIS, and provides the results to county policy
makers, facilitating an efficient, region-wide approach to
waterway management.
Before returning to the University of Florida in 1993,
David did rocket science with Martin Marietta Aerospace
at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station. He began his career as a technical writer/editor
at Martin Marietta's Orlando Division.
For more than 30 years, David has sailed and fished
Florida waters.

Paul Roat is a Florida native who has spent most of
his life on the barrier islands of Manatee and Sarasota
counties. Paul graduated from the University of South
Florida with a degree in photojournalism and has spent
25 years writing or editing community newspapers, maga-
zines and books. Paul works with Tom Cross Inc., a con-
sulting firm specializing in environmental and marine
writing and graphics. He is news editor for The Islander, a
community newspaper based on Anna Maria Island.


La Vida, the authors aboard, with sails and sheets eased off the wind,
somewhere along the Southwest Florida coast.






































1941 The Changing Sea and Earth


". . the sea, too, lay restless, awaiting the time when once more it should
encroach upon the coastal plain, and creep up the sides of the foothills,
and lap at the bases of the mountain ranges ...
so the relation ofsea and coast and mountain range
was that ofa moment in geologic time.
For once more the mountains would be worn away
by the endless erosion of water and carried in silt to the sea,
and once more all the coast would be water again,
and the places of its cities and towns would belong to the sea."

In Under the Sea-Wind: A Naturalist's Picture of Ocean Life
Rachel Carson
1940
Published by Simon and Schuster,
New York. p. 271.












/ UNrITD STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Nblnal oemnic *nd Atmar phtric Adminltratlion
\ National Sea Grant Collngr Program
*..,-- 1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910




Coastal Southwest Florida has undergone dramatic changes in the past 120 years. The vastmangrove
forests, expansive seagrass meadows and serene sawgrass tracts have been changed into housing
developments and waterfront condominiums. The once-quiet towns and fishing villages have been
transformed into bustling communities. Unfortunately, the new residents to the coast are all too often
unaware of the region's history.

The great naturalist and ecologist, Edward Wilson, in remarking on man's alteration of the
environment, speaks of managing the human "footprint" on natural systems as society's greatest
challenge in this the new century.

Yet, there are few such places where man's footprint is more starkly visible than the coast of
Southwest Florida. In little more than three decades, a blink of an eye in human history, this coastline
has gone from a mostly pristine region of small towns and coastal communities to one of immense
development that has markedly changed the face of Southwest Florida.

Massive dredging and fill projects have reshaped the land and waterways. We have made land where
nature did not, and dug waterways in areas nature picked to be seagrass beds. It is only through
understanding these changes made throughout the years that we can fully appreciate the alterations to
this once-pristine landscape.

As a society, we are intensely proud of our history and progress as a nation, tend not toward
retrospection and focus intensely on the future. But to truly understand the immense changes that we
have wrought on scale that is not readily observable or comprehensible, we need a point of reference
and historical perspective if we are to derive necessary lessons from that history.

A Historical Geography of Southwest Florida Waterways, Volume Two, Placida Harbor to Marco
Island offers readers a glimpse of the changes that have occurred in the region. Visual depiction of
the manmade changes that have taken place are shown through maps and photographs.

As in Volume I, the authors chronicle magnificently the magnitude ofcumulative impacts ofthousands
of smaller actions and among many jurisdictions over a relatively short time.

Only by learning of the past can we understand the needs of the future. Dr. Antonini and colleagues
unveil the complex history and geography of this interesting and beautiful area. Southwest Florida
with its rare ecosystems should be managed and nurtured in the coning years.

The authors have done us all an incalculable service yet again. They have provided us with invaluable
information, insight and guidance we will surely need to address the difficult issues of environment
and community that lie ahead.

Ronald C. Baird
Director
National Sea Grant College Program






Printed





An effective way to comprehend the changes in the
region is through photographs and maps showing the pre-
and post-development settings at selected locations, as de-
picted in the Photographic Record chapter. The Land Use
Changes chapter highlights, community-by-community,
the physical alterations in the area through housing de-
velopment, railroad line creation, and dredging of the ICW.
Tidal inlets are a vital part of the landscape of South-
west Florida. The exchange of saltwater from the Gulf
with freshwater of streams and rivers in the bays is facili-
tated through the passes between barrier islands. Inlets
provide recreational opportunities for tens of thou-
sands of boaters and fishers, and the Inlets chapter is
devoted to their importance for navigation, recreation,
and the environment.
The Caloosahatchee [Caloosa= indigenous Native
Americans who inhabited Southwest Florida, Hatchee=
Seminole for river] chapter chronicles the history of the
Caloosahatchee Valley, which may serve as a harbinger
for the future of at least several elements of the ongoing
multi-billion dollar Everglades restoration effort. The river
is an extreme case of altering land and water for coastal
development and, in the process, irrevocably changing its
form and function. The historic river, a valuable asset to
pioneers as a commercial artery for transporting goods
and providing services, had a meandering, shifting course
sometimes drastically affected by floods and droughts. To-
day, it is the straight-channel, dredged, Okeechobee Wa-
terway, used by resource managers for flood control and
by boaters transiting between the Eastern Seaboard and
the Gulf Coast. Questions on how to manage the historic
river and its water in the future, constrained by its his-
torical and ecological niche in South Florida, will pro-
vide a challenge in the years ahead.


Volume Two

Volume One


The Charting Waterway Changes chapter describes
how Geographic Information System computer programs
enable source material from different eras to contribute
to the creation of the maps in this book. Cartographers
place maps and charts in reference systems that evolve as
knowledge of the Earth's true shape improves. A major
problem is bringing them all into a common system, so
that investigators can accurately measure and display his-
toric changes in study area parameters of interest.
The future of Southwest Florida's vast system of bays,
inlets, rivers, sleepy fishing communities, waterfront sub-
urban tracts, and bustling urban cores is unknown. A
growing awareness exists among residents that their para-
dise could easily be lost without widespread adoption of
a stewardship ethic and continuing public efforts to re-
store and maintain the region's unique ecological and cul-
tural treasures. The balance between people and nature
will continue to be the challenge for Southwest Florida
and its waterways.
This book is part of a series of publications on the boat-
ing geography of the region. A Historical Geography of
Southwest Florida Waterways, Volume One, similarly treated
the adjoining area to the north, from Lemon Bay to Anna
Maria Sound (south of Tampa Bay).
While similar waterway conditions prevail in the north-
ern (Volume One) region, several differences in the coastal
development process between the northern and southern
regions are noteworthy. First, the federally authorized
ICW navigation channel was dredged much earlier in the
north, reaching south from Tampa Bay to Sarasota in
1896 and from Sarasota to Venice in 1907. The ICW
segment from Venice to Lemon Bay was dredged in
the 1960s, coinciding with the ICW improvements
covered in Volume Two.
Canal development occurred in the northern region
much earlier as well, spurred on by entrepreneurs like
John Ringling of Sarasota. Though canal development in
the northern region was widespread, most canal systems
there were smaller in scope and shorter in length. (A no-
table exception was Siesta Key's Grand Canal system.)
The filling of bay water to create residential property was
relatively more common; as a result, conversion of water
to land predominated in the northern region. Thus, Vol-
ume One included the chapter "Land and Water Changes
along the Waterway."


Where Volume One and Volume Two meet, at the south end of Lemon Bay,
with Stump Pass in the foreground, lower Lemon Bay in midground on left,
The Cutoff (boundary) at dash line, Charlotte Harbor in background,
looking south.














































Gulf
of Mexico


A map-based approach is ideal for quantifying, dis-
playing, and understanding the changes wrought by both
man and nature along the southwest Florida coast. An
analysis of the mapped features helps explain the present
state of waterway conditions and the changing nature of
the coastal environment. Where historic depth data are
I- l11 bl-e as point soundings throughout areas of open
ir. r such as in Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound,
S -n : irlos Bay, and the Caloosahatchee (below Beautiful
i1 l..l chloropleth maps show average depths inter-
p .r... from the soundings. However, historic charts of
E r,.. Bay and the Naples-Marco region where large
, .f navigable bay waters are less abundant pro-
i.l. nly channel centerline depths.This precludes analy-
h. t athymetric change over much of the mapped re-
n r. the south.
'I. ere region-wide maps are displayed, as in the Access
t rI nn"els chapter and the Land Use Change chapter, the
Ca Io ee r'.ld-,. irea is segmented into five areal zones (Map 1).
I \, .tern Charlotte Harbor, including Pine Island
S. -nd and western San Carlos Bay.

2 E ,tern Charlotte Harbor, including Matlacha Pass
.nd eastern San Carlos Bay (with the area 1 and 2
bI .ndary following State Road 767 along Pine Island).

S' -iloosahatchee (upstream to Beautiful Island).

S s- 4 E rero Bay and Wiggins Bay.

S. N.ples-Marco.

T I, intent of the volumes in this series is to increase
rln I.. nwledge about coastal change in the region and to
i,. pii. public stewardship for a healthy environment in a
"' .. ing community. Since the 1999 publication ofVol-
Sini,. One, resource planners and elected officials have used
in tr. nation in the historical geography analysis to for-
mulate prescriptive policies and actions to deal
with waterway management needs. Habitat res-
toration of spoil islands, anchorage planning,
and an innovative method of general permit-
j ting for maintenance dredging are some of the
issues where an application of the principles
S and information contained in these books have
been applied.
Digital map data contained in both volumes
of this series will be incorporated into A Coastal
Data Server System for the Gulf Intracoastal
Waterway and Adjoining Bay Waters ofSouth-
west Florida, to be hosted by the GeoPlan Cen-
ter of the University of Florida. The NOAA
Coastal Service Center, Charleston, SC, is sup-
porting this effort through a grant to Florida
Sea Grant.




Map 1.
Regional map presentations in the
Access Channels and Land Use Changes chapters.






HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF 12

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATERWAYS
The Boating Geography of Southwest Florida
Before Coastal Development
One must return to the late 19th cen-
tury to visualize the pre-development con-
dition of the waterways in Southwest
Y le a-, Florida from Placida Harbor to Marco Is-
Sv kkJ'ek (Pe C, eek land and the Caloosahatchee. This region in-
llr i.,- R .-_ clouded three separate inland bays, a reach
along the Gulf of Mexico shore, and a river
Sot system (Map 1):
orc/Q On rl ,I n, rth, Gasparilla Sound to San Carlos Bay, 45
ni ,l -l..n the Gulf shoreline, including elbow-shaped
S. iCi. I-l. rr. Harbor, Pine Island Sound, and Metlochat
\ .N 5 .....n. I, itlacha Pass);
ini rl, i. ii.dle, Estero Bay, 17 miles long, from Estero
I I r in L.i Pass (Ft. Myers Beach) through channels
St 1.11., .rs Creek (Imperial River) to Wiggins Bay,
Srl, ir.. .rl' of the Cocohatchee and Wiggins Pass;
I- I.t .t ', lexico, a 13-mile reach south from Wiggins
S* r'i, r.. rdon Pass;
S -T rl, ...q. th, Naples Bay to Marco and Caxambas, an
,iin -...d, Lircrway stretching 25 miles long;
C i..... -I 1 ichee, from the river's mouth in San Carlos
; B, ., up rlcam and eastward, for 84 miles to the river's
i /otta .....i -c r he sawgrass region of Lake Okeechobee.




































Charlotte
Harbor
Ca\o


Pine E
Island .t.
Sound N


osoc







gil ass o ,
(13 h/s
miles)





Gortoi
Entire Reioss
Entire Region


stero
Bay


+ '

Marco
Island


Map 1.
Boating regions in the pre-development era.


13






14


Natural barriers historically separated these waterways.
The connections from Gasparilla Sound and San Carlos
Bay were impeded: north to Lemon Bay by "The Cut-
Off," east to the Caloosahatchee by the river's delta, and
south from San Carlos Bay to the Gulf of Mexico by inlet
shoals. Mariners entering and leaving Estero Bay had to
run Estero (Matanzas) Pass and Wiggins Pass, as well as
negotiate the tortuous, winding channel connecting
Estero and Wiggins Bays. There were no harbors of ref-
uge, such as present-day Clam Pass and Doctors Pass,
along the Gulf Coast. Farther south, beyond the en-
trance at Gordon Pass, the inside passage from Naples
Bay to Marco was strewn with oyster bars that made
navigation risky even for shallow-draft vessels. On the
Caloosahatchee, waterfalls set the head of navigation at
Ft. Thompson (La Belle). Settlers along this coast could
sail along the Gulf shore in good weather, but strong on-
shore winds would force them inside, where passage was
especially impeded when seasonal northerss" reduced the
water depths and made many shoals impassable.
From the north, mariners entered Gasparilla Sound
through Gasparilla Pass (6.5-foot depth), though shal-
low-draft coasters sometimes used Little Gasparilla (Boca


Nueva) Pass (3.5-foot depth) in settled weather. The sound,
9 miles long, varied in width from approximately a half
mile in the north to 6 miles in the south (including Bull
and Turtle Bays), where it connected with Charlotte Har-
bor. The principal channel south was between Devil Fish
Key and Gasparilla Island (4.5 feet deep). Another shal-
lower, crooked channel ran east between Devil Fish Key
and Cayo Pelau. Charlotte Harbor, an extensive
embayment with relatively uniform depths, opened to the
south and stretched 10 miles east by 20 miles north. Ves-
sels entered the harbor from the Gulf through Boca Grande
Pass, which had a natural depth of 19 feet over the bar.
East through the harbor, 9-foot depths could be carried to
Punta Gorda. Pea's Creek (also called Pease Creek and, later,
the Peace River) emptied into Charlotte Harbor just north-
east of Punta Gorda.
Vessels heading south, either from Boca Grande or
Charlotte Harbor, coasted down Pine Island Sound, the
15-mile-long by 3- to 4-mile-wide passage of water situ-
ated between Pine Island and the barrier island chain of
La Costa, Captiva, and Sanibel Islands. Shoals existed op-
posite Boca Captiva (Captiva Pass) and Boca Ciega (Blind
Pass). In fair weather, fishing schooners used either pass.
Vessels touched at a fishing station on the northeast coast
of Captiva Island. In 1880, Boca Ciega was not "blind"
(closed), but had a 400-foot-wide channel. A side channel
veered north between Buck and Captiva Islands, with
depths from 3 to 6 feet all the way out to the sound. Along
the inside passage heading south in Pine Island Sound,
and after the shoals opposite Blind Pass, deep water opened
into San Carlos Bay, and the channel skirted the east shore
of Sanibel Island south to the Gulf of Mexico.
Numerous islands fringed Metlochat Sound (Matlacha
Pass), separating Pine Island from the mainland to the east.
The channel through Middle Metlochat was tortuous and
impassable for vessels of more than 2-foot draft. Upper
and Lower Metlochat Sound were relatively less obstructed
by islands and afforded deeper water, accommodating ves-
sels drawing 6 to 7 feet. Pine Island and Metlochat Sounds
joined at the south in San Carlos Bay. An extensive tidal
delta at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee shoaled the east
portion of San Carlos Bay.


Estero River during the Koreshan settlement era, circa 1900.


I CUBAN FISHING SMACKS IN HARBOR. ANMIIIK. Fr1U IOA.
Cuban fishing smacks sailing in Charlotte Harbor, 1922.




























Imperial River, early 1900.


Estero Bay, which trends northwest/southeast and is
approximately 7 miles long and 2 miles wide at its center,
tapers at each end. Mariners entered at the north through
Estero Pass (Matanzas Pass). The bay was bounded on
the west by Estero, Big Hickory, and Little Hickory Is-
lands. Though Big Carlos Pass retains its historic position
and shape today, the other inlets situated south of it were
very differently shaped in earlier eras. (The Inlet Dynam-
ics chapter explains the effects of human intervention and
natural processes on the history of these inlets.) Numer-
ous islands of various sizes are scattered throughout the
bay. A long sand bar covered with 6 to 12 inches of water
at mean low water restricted vessels at the mouth of Estero
Creek. Another sand bar was at the mouth of Surveyors
Creek (Imperial River), with approximately 1 foot of wa-
ter at mean low tide. Estero Bay ended at the Auger Hole,
a tortuous distributary channel at the mouth of Survey-
ors Creek, a little south of Big Hickory Pass. Vessels tran-
siting south had to negotiate this constriction and pass
into Surveyors Creek, then down that creek through the
Cork Screw, another sharply bending channel of shallow
water, before entering Little Hickory Bay, a distance
of 4 miles, in order to reach the Cocohatchee and
Wiggins Pass.
The Gulf shore south of San Carlos Bay (Ft. Myers
Beach) was sparsely populated in redevelopment times.
This was especially true of the 13-mile stretch of coast-
line between Wiggins and Gordon Pass. Naples Bay could
be approached through Gordon Pass, but there was only
a fish camp at the inlet mouth in the early 1900s. An
inside waterway connected this pass to Naples and ex-
tended south for 12 miles to Big Marco Pass. The passage
was a few hundred feet to 1 mile distant from the Gulf
beach, from 40 feet to one-half-mile wide, and from 3 to
10 feet deep. Many transverse oyster bars, covered by a
dense growth of mangroves, obstructed the passage. About
3 miles south of Naples was Dollar Bay, a wider section of
this waterway, and Rookery Bay, another enlarged sec-
tion, lay another 4 miles south. Fishermen used tidal chan-
nels to run east of Marco Island and round Coon Key
Pass, a distance of 13 miles, to reach Caxambas.


Coastal view of Marco Island, early 1900.


rae Rercn on -arly 19 i
Orange River, early 1900.


15






16


The banks along the
Caloosahatchee were
lined with rickety docks,
sewer outfall pipes and
litter before the turn of
the century. In 1888, the
Ft. Myers Council
ordered outhouses on the
waterfront removed as
they were t h the
best interest of
the community."


The Caloosahatchee, early in the 19th century, was
recognized as the key to settling the vast Okeechobee
Basin. Unlike today, the river did not reach the big lake.
An extensive shoal (5.5 foot depth), across the mouth
where the river entered San Carlos Bay between Sword
Point and Punta Rosa (Rassa), hampered navigation.
Other obstacles included numerous oyster bars along the
17-mile reach up to Ft. Myers and a very crooked, shal-
low (4 feet deep), and long (44 mile) channel from Ft.
Myers to the waterfalls at Ft. Thompson (La Belle). The
river's source was 4 miles upstream of Ft. Thompson near


Lake Flirt, which was 16 miles west of Lake Okeechobee.
The Caloosahatchee above Ft. Myers was subject to over-
flow during the wet seasons. There are numerous record-
ings of 17-foot-high floods at Denaud; these recurring
events prompted private ventures and government at-
tempts to regulate river flow for land drainage and
reclamation.
These were the general conditions that prevailed be-
fore changes were made, with navigation improvements
and land drainage the principal goals behind the man-
made alterations.


Caloosahatchee shoreline.


Bird's-eye view of Punta Gorda before seawall.









References


Published Reports

U.S. House of Representatives, 1879, "Examination
of Caloosahatchee River," 46th Congress, 2nd Session,
Doc. No. 1, Pt. 2, Appendix J., pp. 863-869.

1902, "Improvement of Rivers and
Harbors on the West Coast of Florida, South of and In-
cluding Suwanee River," 57th Congress, 2nd Session,
Doc. No. 6, Appendix Q, pp. 1217-1237.

,1903, "Report of Examination of Estero
Creek or River, Florida," 58th Congress, 2nd Session,
Doc. No. 175, 4 pp.

_____- 1903, "Report of Examination of
Gasparilla Sound and Lemon Bay, Florida, 58th Con-
gress, 2nd Session, Doc. No. 191, 5 pp.

,1908, "Reports of Examination and Sur-
vey of Estero Bay, Florida," 60th Congress, 2nd Session,
Doc. No. 1189, 9 pp.; map, 2 sheets (1:10,000, approxi-
mate), Estero Bay, Florida.

1913, "Examination and Survey of
Kissimmee and Caloosahatchee Rivers and Lake
Okeechobee and Tributaries, with a View to Adopting a
Plan of Improvement of Said Waters, Which Will Har-
monize as Nearly as May be Practicable With the Gen-
eral Scheme of the State of Florida for the Drainage of
the Everglades," 63rd Congress, 1st Session, Doc. No.
137, 32 pp.; map (1:500,000, approximate), Drainage
Map Kissimmee and Caloosahatchee Rivers and Lake
Okeechobee, Florida.


1913, "Reports on Preliminary Exami-
nation of Lemon Bay, Fla., to Gasparilla Sound," 63rd
Congress, 1st Session, Doc. No. 247, 7 pp.

1919, "Reports on Preliminary Exami-
nation and Survey of Charlotte Harbor, Fla., With a View
to Securing a Channel of Increased Depth From the Gulf
of Mexico to the Town of Boca Grande," 66th Congress,
1st Session, Doc. No. 113, 13 pp.; map (1:16,000) Pre-
liminary Examination, Charlotte Harbor, Florida; map
(1:800,000), Vicinity Sketch.

,1938, "Naples Bay to Gordon Pass and
Big Marco Pass, Fla., Channel," 75th Congress, 3rd Ses-
sion, Doc. No. 596, 16 pp.; index map (1:128,000), Sheet
1, in 15 sheets, "Survey Channel From Naples to Big
Marco, Pass, Florida."

U.S. Senate, 1880, "Examination of Charlotte Har-
bor and Peas Creek, Florida," 46th Congress, 3rd Ses-
sion, Ex. Doc. No. 128, 12 pp.

Unpublished Reports

Black, W. M., 1887, "Condition of Caloosahatchee
Basin," letter to Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army, Wash-
ington, D.C., March 30, 1887, file copy, No. 1155, 2;
pp. 126-129 and 214-217, Federal Records Center,
Southeast Region (Atlanta).

Caldwell, W.H., 1906, "Caximbas Bay Improve-
ments," letter to Major Francis R. Shunk, United States
Engineer Office,Tampa, Florida, May 19, 1906, file copy,
No. missing, 2 pp.; map of Caximbas Bay, Fla., (1:80,000,
approximate), Federal Records Center, Southeast Region
(Atlanta).

Rossell, 1885, "Caloosahatchee River," letter to Brig.
Gen. John Newton, Chief of Engineers, Washington,
D.C., June 8, 1885, file copy No. 1155, 2, pp. 23-43,
Federal Records Center, Southeast Region (Atlanta).

Books

Tebeau, C.W, 1957, Florida's Last Frontier: The His-
tory of Collier County, University of Miami Press, Miami,
Florida.


Pig butchering on the bank of the Caloosahatchee in 1911.


17






18


Dredging History of
Southwest Florida Inland Waterways


The region's dredging history is linked to the recog-
nized advantages afforded by shipping local products to
market on inland waterways, as well as by the desire to
control flooding with upland drainage. Oftentimes, these
two objectives pitted competing and conflicting interest:
waterway navigation versus land reclamation. As coastal
settlements were established in the late 1800s, local com-
munities sought governmental assistance in creating in-
land navigation routes. Prior to the extension of railroads
south ofTampa Bay, there was great interest in opening
steamboat communication across Florida. Several navi-
gable routes were investigated: from Jacksonville, via the
St. John's River, then by way of Topokalija Lake (now
called LakeTohopekaliga) to Charlotte Harbor; and down
the Kissimmee River and Caloosahatchee to Ft. Myers.
With a surge in interest following the Civil War to
develop lands adjoining Lake Okeechobee, the great liq-
uid heart of Florida, private investors, armed with land
grants from the state to subsidize drainage projects, at-
tempted several canal dredging projects to link the lake
with the Gulf. (These improvements are discussed fur-
ther in the Caloosahatchee chapter.) By and large, how-
ever, local settlers sought to improve sheltered water routes
that could provide safe passage for light-draft vessels within
Charlotte Harbor and the lower Caloosahatchee, in Estero
Bay, and between Naples and Marco Island. The chro-
nology of events is summarized in Table 1 and illustrated
in Maps 1 and 2.
The hydrographic charts produced by the U.S. Coast
and Geodetic Survey (Coast Survey), along with U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers (Army Engineers) reports and
maps to Congress, provide an invaluable baseline of in-
formation on waterway conditions in Southwest Florida
during the pre- and early development period. Ship cap-
tains use Coast Survey charts to navigate and pilot within
coastal waters. The reports and maps of the Army Engi-
neers result from field studies to determine the engineer-
ing feasibility and economic justification for waterway
improvements. Safety of vessels at sea and commercial
concerns guided expenditures of federal funds for navi-
gation improvements. The Army Engineers were respon-
sible for surveying and improving waterways judged to
have national importance through the General Survey Act
of 1824 and the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1878. The
earliest source charts and maps cover Charlotte Harbor
and Pine Island Sound (1863-1879) and the
Caloosahatchee (1887-1893). As few coastal settlements
existed beyond San Carlos Bay prior to 1900, there was
little justification in extending comprehensive charting
to the south. The Army Engineers undertook a centerline
survey of Estero Bay in 1908, but the Coast Survey chart-
ing dates from 1970. The earliest charts for the inside
passage from Naples to Caxambas, based on centerline
surveys, date from 1930.


Caloosahatchee and
Okeechobee Waterway
The earliest dredging improvements in the region,
which focused on the Caloosahatchee, were linked to the
land drainage schemes of Hamilton Disston and the Gulf
Coast Canal and Okeechobee Land Co. (1881-1888).
These projects were designed to develop the rich, black
muck-lands adjoining Lake Okeechobee by connecting
the upper reach of the Caloosahatchee (from Lake Flirt)
to Lake Okeechobee, and by removing a waterfall at Ft.
Thompson. A federal navigation project, begun in 1883,
improved the downstream reach of the river by creating a
7-feet-deep by 100-feet-wide channel over the Gulf bar
at the river's mouth below Punta Rassa and through the
oyster shoals to Ft. Myers. In 1910, this channel was en-
larged to a depth of 12 feet and a width of 200 feet. The
middle reach of the Caloosahatchee, from Ft. Myers to
Ft. Thompson, became federalized in 1887, when the
Army Engineers dredged a 4-feet-deep by 35-feet-wide
channel and removed snags and overhanging trees. In
1902, the Army Engineers dredged (4-feet-deep by 50-
feet-wide) the Orange River (formerly Twelve Mile Creek,
12 miles upstream from Ft. Myers), a Caloosahatchee
tributary, from its mouth to Buckingham.
The development-era history of the Caloosahatchee is
a record of competing demands for land drainage versus
navigation. By 1883, a steamboat connection had been
established between Ft. Myers and Kissimmee. In 1902,
during tourist season (January-May), steamers ran daily
between Ft. Myers and Punta Gorda. During the remain-
der of the year, the steamer service was three times per
week. Another steamship line ran occasionally between
Ft. Myers and Punta Gorda. Two schooners made semi-
monthly trips to Tampa. Other steamers made trips three
times a week to upriver points as far as Ft. Thompson, a
distance of 44 miles. Completion of the North New River
(drainage) Canal, linking Lake Okeechobee to the Atlan-
tic Ocean at Ft. Lauderdale, created a de facto Cross-
Florida Waterway, but this easternmost route was closed
to boat traffic in 1914 because of rock obstructions
and hyacinths. The opening of the West Palm Beach
(drainage) Canal in 1917 provided a temporary, alter-
native boat passage from the Gulf of Mexico to
Florida's Eastern Seaboard.
In 1913, Florida Gov. Park Trammel advocated fed-
eral development of a navigable Cross-State Waterway in
southern Florida, but this policy became law only on Aug.
30, 1935, through the Rivers and Harbors Act. And on
March 22, 1937, the Cross-Florida Waterway, known
today as the Okeechobee Waterway, was inaugurated; this
passage included opening the St. Lucie Canal eastern seg-
ment and dredging a 7-feet-deep Caloosahatchee chan-
nel between Ft. Myers and Ft. Thompson.









Historical Synopsis of Waterway Improvements in Southwest Florida (Volume Two).

Hamilton Disston (Atlantic and Gulf Coast Canal and Okeechobee Land Company):
1881-1888 Caloosahatchee (Upper) removed rock ledge waterfall at Ft. Thompson, straightened (removed bends) in river
below Ft. Thompson; and dredged upper reach connecting river to Lake Okeechobee.

1882 Caloosahatchee (Lower) Federal project: dredged channel from river mouth to Ft. Myers 100-feet-wide
and 7-feet-deep.

1887 Caloosahatchee (Middle) Federal project: dredged channel 4-feet-deep and 35-feet-wide, removed snags and
overhanging trees from Ft. Myers to Ft. Thompson.

1891 Charlotte Harbor Federal project established: channel 12-feet-deep and 200-feet-wide from inside Boca
Grande Pass to Punta Gorda.

1900 Pine Island Sound Army Engineers: recommended federal improvements for channel 8-feet-deep and 100-feet-
wide through shoals northeast of Patricio Island and northeast of Blind Pass (not adopted).

1902 Orange River (Twelve Mile Creek) Federal project established: channel 4-feet-deep and 50-feet-wide from mouth 6 miles
upstream to head of navigation at Buckingham.

1908 Estero B Army Engineers: recommended federal improvements for channel 5-feet-deep and 60-feet-
y wide from Matanzas Pass to mouth of Surveyors Creek (Imperial River) (not adopted).

1910 Caloosahatchee (Lower) Federal project: modified to widen (200-feet) and deepen (12-feet) channel from bar below
Punta Rassa to Ft. Myers.

1912 Cross Florida Waterway North New River Canal: connected Lake Okeechobee to Ft. Lauderdale. (Navigation usage
terminated in 1914 due to rock obstructions and hyacinths.)

1912 Boca Grande Federal project established: inlet channel through Boca Grande Pass to wharves at south
end of Gasparilla Island, 24-feet-deep and 300-feet-wide.

1913 Cross Florida Waterway Gov. Trammel advocated federal government develop navigable Cross State Waterway.

Caloosahatchee (Upper) State of Florida: dredged channel 5-feet-deep and 40-feet-wide from
1915 Caloosahatchee (Upper) Lake Okeechobee to La Belle.

1917 Cross Florida Waterway West Palm Beach Canal to Lake Okeechobee: opened to boat traffic.

1930 Naples Bay Marco (Inside Passage) E.W. Crayton: dredged 3-feet-deep by 40-feet-wide inside passage, cut through oyster bars.

Rivers and Harbors Act of Aug. 30, 1935: obligated federal government to build waterway,
1935 Cross Florida Waterway included St. Lucie Canal and dredging 7-feet-deep, Caloosahatchee channel between Ft.
Myers and Ft. Thompson.

1937 Cross Florida Waterway Opened March 1937.

Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors: recommended federal intracoastal project,
1939 Gulf Intracoastal Waterway 9-feet-deep and 100-feet-wide, from Caloosahatchee (Ft. Myers) north to Anclote River
(Tarpon Springs); World War II delayed funding until 1945.

1940 Naples Bay Marco (Inside Passage) Federal project: completed 6-feet-deep and 70-feet-wide channel from southern limit
of Naples to landward side of Big Marco Pass, 10 miles.

1945 Naples Bay Marco (Inside Passage) Federal channel: relocated east of Hurricane Pass (due to storm damage).

1945 Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Congress authorized and funded Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

1948 Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Modifying legislation revised cost-sharing arrangement between federal government
1948 Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and local interests.
and local interests.

Big Hickory Pass Wiggins Pass (Inside Passage) Walter Mack: dredged 4-feet-deep by 50-feet-wide channel from south Estero Bay
1955 Big Hickory Pass Wiggins Pass (Inside Passage) t t Cocohatchee (Wiggins Pass).
to the Cocohatchee (Wiggins Pass).

1960-64 Gulf Intracoastal Waterway ICW: channel dredged 9-feet-deep by 100-feet-wide, began June 1960 at Punta Rassa and
1960-64 Gulf Intracoastal Waterway reached Placida in late 1964.
reached Placida in late 1964.

Federal channel construction completed in 1961, 12-feet-deep and 150-feet-wide, from
1960, 1968 Matanzas Pass Channel Gulf (San Carlos Bay) to Bowditch Point, and 11-feet-deep and 125-feet-wide (constricted
to 85 feet by existing bridge) from Bowditch Point to Matanzas Pass; 1968 amendment
added turning basin.

Table 1.


19





20


Map 1.
Surveyed routes and waterways across Florida.
























Beai111ii.11


River


'Ft. Thompson


% 1 1887 Caloosahatchee River (4 x 35)
6 '2 1881-88 H. Disston Drainage Canal
i- P mI.ni Ra:ssa 3 1882 Caloosahatchee (7 x 100);
l ..laanzas 1' Pass. Modified 1910 (12 x 200)
ss 1 1:,,, 4 1891 Charlotte Harbor (12 x 200)
Big Ba 5 1902 Orange River (4 x 50)
Hickory 7 6 1900 Proposed Federal Project (8 x 100)
Pass 13w 3 vev,:, 7 1908 Proposed Federal Project (5 x 60)
,,nli "Clr eek 8 1912 Boca Grande (24 x 300)
Wiggins-' 9 1915 Caloosahatchee River (5 x 40)
Gulf pvass Ie 10 1930 E.W. Crayton (3x 40); 1940
Of ClamM FederalProject (6 x 70)
lexico Pass 11 1945 Realigned to East due to
Storm Damage
12 1960-64 Gulf Intracoastal
rja les Waterway (9 x 100)
N Gordon Pass_ 13 1955 Big Hickory-Wiggins Pass;
10 J W. Mack (4 x 50)
E fInside Passalge 14 1960 Matanzas Pass
II"laico (12 x 150 outer, 11 x 125 inner);
S Hurrican-V Island Modified 1968 (11 x 125 turning basin)
5 10 Pass 1. CaxLas Note: (9x 100)= Channel dredged to
C xam Bas 9-foot depth and 100-foot width.
les Big L.laico,
les _Pass ,-

MAP 2.
Surveyed routes and waterways on the Southwest coast and along the Caloosahatchee River.


21


Pa;


5 0

Mi


1 d1ange I',iVe-i


1\







rtrEnZj Charlotte Harbor and
Pine Island Sound
N igation improvements for a 12-foot-deep by 200-
.5* t r-v' ide channel from inside Boca Grande entrance to
hl, -. harf at Punta Gorda were authorized by the federal
While the Pine Island government in 1891 and completed in 1897, justified
principally to accommodate barge shipments of phosphate
al apparently as rock from mines in the Peace River Valley. Railroads
built by the Causa or brought phosphate to the wharf at Punta Gorda; it was
their ancestors, its then lightered to vessels lying in Boca Grande anchorage.
construction could Other cargo shipped to and from Charlotte Harbor in-
have involved the cluded cattle, grain, fish, oysters, lumber, and general
labor and knowledge merchandise.
oflocalas wellas In 1911, the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Rail-
neighboring way locals called the railway the Cold, Hungry and
peoples.., canoe canals Naked completed construction of a rail line from the
were parts ofa pebble phosphate mines at Mulberry, Fla., to Southwest
St w Florida and across Placida Harbor to south Boca Grande.
technology that was
shared tay Storage facilities there could accommodate 23,000 tons
shared by many of phosphate rock, and a system of belt conveyors moved
Florida Indians... the the ore aboard ship at dockside. At that time, Boca Grande
narrow, shallow Pass had a natural depth of 19 feet over the bar. As phos-
channels ofFlorida phate shipments increased, larger vessels required deeper
Indian canoe canals water when loaded. Initially, vessels were partially loaded
reflect the character of at the South Boca Grande terminal and completed load-
Florida Indian ing from barges towed out beyond the channel shoal. This
watercraft... narrow, system proved hazardous, and in 1912, the federal gov-
keel-less, shallow ernment adopted a project to dredge a 24-foot-deep by
draftboats...their 300-foot-wide channel from the Gulf to the south Boca
Grande terminal.
average width was
The inside passage west of Pine Island, between Char-
approximately... 6 lotte Harbor and San Carlos Bay, was an important thor-
inches... the draft of oughfare during the early development era of Southwest
such canoes was Florida. Steamers, like the Plant Steamship Company's
apparently around 15 Saint Lucie and the Lawrence, plied between Punta Gorda
cm (6 inches) or and Ft. Myers, shipping southbound grain, general mer-
less... The Pine Island chandise, and crate material, while returning north mostly
Canal crossed the with oranges, grapefruit, and early vegetables. Two shoals,
width ofPine Island less than 5 feet deep and 600 feet long, were situated along
and is believed this route: one off Patricio Island at the north end of Pine
to haveaclitated Island and the other near the southern end of Pine Island
canoe ravel between opposite Blind Pass. These obstructions were in constricted
ine Island Sound segments of the channel, which made passage difficult
and Matlacha
Pass...Each end of the
Pine Island Canal
was at sea level.
In between, the canal
traversed land
reaching a maximum
elevation of3.7-4.0
m (12-13ft) above
mean sea level near
the center of
the island...
the evidence supports
the interpretation
that the Pine Island
Canalfunctioned by
usingground water in
a controlled channel


22



and hazardous for fully loaded cargo vessels during
northwesterr" storms. The Army Engineers, in 1900, rec-
ommended federal improvements for a channel 8-feet-
deep and 100-feet-wide through these shoals, but the
improvements were not adopted until 1960. No effective
inside passage, north of Gasparilla Sound to Lemon Bay,
existed in the pre-development era. Most vessels heading
north from Charlotte Harbor transited Boca Grande to
the Gulf of Mexico.


Estero Bay
The region south of San Carlos Bay was "mare incog-
nitum"in the pre-development period. As coastal settle-
ments were few and far between, there was no incentive
for the federal government to conduct bathymetric sur-
veys and compile charts. Eventually, when the Army En-
gineers surveyed Estero Bay in 1908, they could not lo-
cate an inland water route from Matanzas Pass to Naples,
even though the Coast Survey chart seemed to indicate
an interior waterway as far south as Clam Pass. At the
time, there were three very small gasoline freight launches
running between Ft. Myers and the Estero River, one twice
weekly and two three-times weekly. Also, a mail steamer
provided service from Ft. Myers to Carlos. As many as 36
fishing smacks were counted on the bay during the fish-
ing season, when one carload offish could be taken every
two days to Punta Gorda for shipment by railroad. The
Army Engineers recommended dredging a 5-foot-deep
by 60-foot-wide channel from the mouth of Matanzas
Pass to Surveyor's Creek (Imperial River) in 1908. While
this proposed project was not implemented, federal au-
thorization was received in 1960, and amended in 1968,
for improving the Matanzas Pass Channel from the Gulf
to a turning basin off San Carlos Island. In 1955, private
developer Walter Mack, with contributions from the
Bonita (town) Chamber of Commerce, dredged a chan-
nel, 4-feet-deep by 50-feet-wide, from Big Hickory Pass
south to the Cocohatchee, thereby providing boat access
between Estero Bay and Wiggins Pass.


Dredge crew, circa 1900.






It is hypothesized the
canal held a series of
stepped impoundments
by taking advantage of
Pine Islands poorly
drained soils and
shallow fluctuating
water table... the Pine
Island Canal was not
completely straight...
stretches curved or
angled from one side
to another... in
response to topographic
features and allowed
the canal to remain
level or to have a very
gentle slope, thus
helping the canal
to hold water."

-George M.
Luer and
Ryan J. Wheeler,
"How the Pine
Island Canal
Worked: Topogra-
phy, Hydraulics,
and Engineering,"

The Florida
Anthropologist,
Vol. 50, No. 3,
September 1997.


Naples and Marco Island
Naples constructed a pier in 1889 to accommodate
steamship freight and passengers. Further improvements
to waterway access to Naples were made in the 1930s by
a local entrepreneur E. W. Crayton, who dredged and
maintained cuts with depths from 3 to 8 feet and widths
of 30 to 50 feet in the reach from Naples to Big Marco
Pass. In 1940, the federal government assumed the project,
which provides for an interior channel (6 feet deep and
70 feet wide) from the southern limit of the town of Naples
to the landward side of Big Marco Pass. The waterway
from Naples to Big Marco Pass is 14 miles long; local
interests maintain the northerly four miles. The hurri-
cane of October 1944 breached the barrier beach north
of Big Marco Pass and severely shoaled the federal
channel. The shoal was dredged in 1945 and the chan-
nel was relocated east of Hurricane Pass.


Gulf Intracoastal Waterway
The U.S. Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors
recognized in 1939 the need to create a commercial water
thoroughfare for passengers, goods, and services and rec-
ommended creation of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, a
9-foot-deep by 100-foot-wide channel stretching from the
mouth of the Caloosahatchee to Lemon Bay and beyond
(to Tarpon Springs). Federal funds, however, were not
authorized until 1945. Dredging began from the south
end in June 1960 and reached northern Gasparilla Sound
by late 1964.
This federal project required a local sponsor to assist
with funding channel maintenance, once the initial dredg-
ing had created the waterway. In 1947, the Florida Legis-
lature created the West Coast Inland Navigation District
(WCIND) as a special taxing authority for this purpose.
The WCIND originally encompassed the counties of Lee,
Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, and Pinellas, but Pinellas
withdrew from the district in the 1970s. The district's
mandate in time broadened to include other waterway
management functions, such as dealing with anchorages,
boat traffic, inlets, and beaches.


23









References
(in chronological order)

Published Reports


N.a. 1890, Improvement of Caloosahatchee River,
Florida, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, file copy, No.
1155, 2, pp. 103-109, Federal Records Center, South-
east Region (Atlanta).

U.S. House of Representatives, 1897, "Report of Ex-
amination of the Inside Passage From Punta Rasa to Char-
lotte Harbor, Florida," 54th Congress, 2nd Session, Doc.
No. 246, 3 pp.

1899, "Report of Examination of Boca
Grande and Charlotte Harbor, Florida," 56th Congress,
1st Session, Doc. No. 76, 7 pp.; 1 map (1:15,000, ap-
proximate), Boca Grande, or Main Entrance, Charlotte
Harbor, Florida.

1900, "Reports of Examination and
Survey of Inside Passage From Punta Rasa to Charlotte
Harbor, Florida," 56th Congress, 1st Session, Doc. No.
286, 9 pp.; map (1:60,000), Map of Inside Passage from
Punta Rassa to Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound,
Florida.

,1902, "Improvement of Rivers and
Harbors on the West Coast of Florida, South of and In-
cluding Suwanee River," 57th Congress, 2nd Session,
Doc. No. 6, Appendix Q, pp. 1217-1237.

1903, "Report of Examination of Char-
lotte Harbor, Florida," 58th Congress, 2nd Session, Doc.
No. 181, 6 pp.

1903, "Report of Examination ofEstero
Creek or River, Florida," 58th Congress, 2nd Session,
Doc. No. 175, 4 pp.

__, 1903, "Report of Examination of
Gasparilla Sound and Lemon Bay, Florida, 58th Con-
gress, 2nd Session, Doc. No. 191, 5 pp.

_____ 1905, "Report of Examination of
Caloosahatchee River, Florida," 59th Congress, 1st Ses-
sion, Doc. No. 180, 6 pp.

_____ 1907, "Report of Examination of
Caloosahatchee and Orange Rivers, Florida," 60th Con-
gress, 1st Session, Doc. No. 347, 7 pp.

,1908, "Reports of Examination and Sur-
vey of Estero Bay, Florida," 60th Congress, 2nd Session,
Doc. No. 1189, 9 pp.; map, 2 sheets (1:10,000, approxi-
mate), Estero Bay, Florida.

1912, "Reports on Examination and
Survey of Charlotte Harbor, Fla., With a View to Secur-
ing a Channel of Increased Depth From the Gulf of
Mexico to Punta Gorda," 62nd Congress, 2nd Ses-
sion, Doc. No. 699, 11 pp.; map (1:20,000 approxi-
mate), Boca Grande Entrance, Charlotte Harbor,
Florida.


1913, "Reports on Preliminary Exami-
nation of Lemon Bay, Fla., to Gasparilla Sound," 63rd
Congress, 1st Session, Doc. No. 247, 7 pp.

1919, "Reports on Preliminary Exami-
nation and Survey of Charlotte Harbor, Fla., With aView
to Securing a Channel of Increased Depth From the Gulf
of Mexico To the Town of Boca Grande," 66th Congress,
1st Session, Doc. No. 113, 13 pp.; map (1:16,000) Pre-
liminary Examination, Charlotte Harbor, Florida; map
(1:800,000), Vicinity Sketch.

,1939, "Examination and Survey Of, and
Review of Reports On, Intracoastal Waterway from
Caloosahatchee River to Withlocoochee River, Fla.," 76th
Congress, 1st Session, Doc. No. 371, 27 pp.; one index
map (1:250,000), Survey Intracoastal Waterway,
Caloosahatchee River to Withlocoochee River, Florida
(Index Sheet); 24 project maps (1:20,000); five profile
sheets (1:10,000 h.i., 1:100 v.i.).

1959, "Gulf Coast Shrimp Boat Har-
bors, Florida," 86th Congress, 1st Session, Doc. No. 183,
35 pp.; map (1:30,000, approximate), Naples Area.

U.S. Senate, 1882, "Survey for Opening of Steam-
boat Communication From the Saint John's River, Florida,
By Way ofTopokalija Lake, to Charlotte Harbor or Pease
Creek," 47th Congress, 1st Session, Ex. Doc. No. 189,
26 pp.; 2 maps including a topographic profile of the
survey route.

Alperin, L.M., 1983, "History Of the Gulf Intracoastal
Waterway," Navigation History, National Waterways
Study NWS-83-9, U.S. Army Engineer Water Resources
Support Center, Institute for Water Resources, U.S. Gov-
ernment Printing, Office, Washington, D.C.


Unpublished Reports

W. Dexter Bender & Associates, 1994, Dredging Fea-
sibility Study: Big Hickory Pass and Interior Waters, re-
port to Lee County Division of Natural Resources Man-
agement, Ft. Myers, Florida.

Books

Grismer, K.H., 1949, The Story ofFort Myers: The His-
tory ofthe Land ofthe Caloosahatchee andSouthwest Florida,
St. Petersburg Printing Company, Florida.

Hanna, A.J., and K.A. Hanna, 1948, Lake Okeechobee:
: .oftheEverglades, 1stedition, The Bobbs-Merrill
Company, Indianapolis, New York.

Tebeau, C. W, 1957, Florida' Last Frontier: The His-
tory ofCollier County, University of Miami Press, Miami,
Florida.


25






For Your Information... 26
Dredging Then and Now


The Army Engineers during the 1890s and early 1900s
operated its own dredge, the U.S. Steam Snagboat and
Dredge Suwanee, which made channel improvements and
set day beacons in the inlets, inland waterways, and riv-
ers in Southwest Florida. This vessel was a steam-driven,
shallow-draft, square-bowed scow, 100 feet long, with a
24-foot beam and 4-foot draft. Although underpowered,
she was suited to her task.
The Suwanee was put together inexpensively, as an ex-
periment in creating a general-purpose vessel for work
on small bays and rivers. Her suction dredge discharged
the raised slurry upon the shore through pipes swung per-
pendicular to her sides, while her derrick provided the
lifting power to raise rocks and snags from the bay bot-
tom. It was difficult work, since much of the dredging
had to be done from the bow of the boat, on bars too
shallow to permit the Suwanee's passage. Cuts were made
by dragging the cutter a hoof-shaped hood armed with
teeth and a clear water valve above it along the bot-
tom using a hoisting tackle mounted on a guide pole. An
auxiliary water jet from the boat's donkey pump was ap-
plied near and under the cutter.
The cut made at each move of the boat was 35 feet
wide and 3 feet long. The average amount of solid mate-
rial was about 25 percent of the discharge, but amounts
as high as 85 percent were recorded. The total capacity of
the pump a 6-inch Edward's special cataract pump
run by a belt from a flywheel on the hoisting engines -
was 1400 gallons per minute or 800 gallons of water
loaded with 25 percent of heavy material. The best day's
work of the pump was 460 cubic yards. After discharge,
the mud, which formed about 30 percent of the dredged
material, floated for some distance, but the sand settled
within 20 to 40 feet from the end of the pipe. The ship's
complement included a 10-man crew to operate the
snagboat, a launch, a float boat, and two rowboats.
Today, the Army Engineers contract private firms for
maintenance dredging of federally-authorized inlets and
the ICW. The West Coast Inland Navigation District di-
rectly hires contractors to dredge public secondary access
channels. Most dredging operations inlet operations
aside are designed to "surgically" remove accumulated
silt and mud; the current general permit of the District


-R



-Sta t. .- --- o ci.

Steam tu towin phosphate-laden schooner out Boca Grande, circa 180s.
Steam tug towing phosphate laden schooner out Boca Grande, circa 1890s.


allows it to dredge in Sarasota and Manatee counties
up to 6,500 cubic yards at each authorized site over a
5-year period. Federal and state rules stringently regu-
late dredging to ensure that proper procedures are in
place to protect bay and upland locales.
One type of hydraulic dredging system, designed for
open water conditions, operates from a 30 by 100 foot
barge outfitted with twin Detroit Diesel engines and 5-
foot diameter propellers for improved maneuverability.
Four hydraulic "spuds" lift the vessel out of the water for
special work conditions. This system can remove 60 per-
cent solids in sandy material with a production rate of
600 cubic yards per hour; the amount of clay material as
solid is on the order of 15 percent, with the removal rate
of about 100 cubic yards per hour.
Small, handheld systems, the least intrusive to the en-
vironment and shoreline residents, are used increasingly.
These diver-operated systems require no tugboat and
barge or other, large, unsightly support equipment sta-
tioned at the dredge site. A single diver operating a hand
dredge can pump 600 gallons per minute of 45-65 per-
cent solid materials by volume. This precision dredging
approach minimizes environmental impacts by allowing
the diver to direct the dredge head by hand in order to
avoid disturbing sensitive bay bottom. Spoil material can
be removed through a pipe up to 1,000 feet from the
dredge and placed onto an upland dewatering contain-
ment site or into tractor trailers outfitted with watertight
dump beds for offsite disposal.
Dredge operators must exercise care to avoid raising
the turbidity level at the dredge site. Any water returned
from the dried-out spoil must meet permitting standards,
which may require manipulation of conditioning chemi-
cals in a mixing tank and mechanical dewatering of the
mixture in a recessed chamber filter press in order to re-
move suspended solids. The need for maintaining a qual-
ity coastal environment should be apparent, given the
increasing population pressures from both waterfront and
water-based recreational uses.
When the Army Engineers operated in the region
during the pre-development period, procedures were
simple and costs modest, even by standards of those days.
Aside from removing the dredged material and placing it
on an adjacent spoil site, some additional expense might
be incurred for engineering designs and contingencies.
Today, costs are higher and the duration of work appre-
ciably longer. Table 2 compares the actual costs, adjusted
to 1982-84 dollars, for two similar dredging operations
in the region. The relative cost increases by an order of
2.5 times more for dredging and removing spoil mate-
rial, in large measure due to the special equipment and
handling required in order to maintain a clean and healthy
environment. The non-construction cost is 7.5 times
greater today, due largely to the need to acquire and com-
ply with permit conditions, including water quality moni-
toring and reporting, which may continue long after the
dredging event. Notwithstanding the overall increase in
cost, however, the per unit of effort for removing a cubic
yard of spoil is much less today than 100 years ago, mak-
ing for a much more efficient operation, with the savings
attributable to modern technology.




































401W?


nrM


- .~ cs. uir.


V-.


Phosphate ore carrier at Port Boca Grande, 1978.


Cost comparisons of dredging 1,000 cubic yards
in pre-development and contemporary periods.

Actual Cost Adjusted to
Dredging Project Actual Coast ($) Comparable Values ($)
Comparable Values ($)

Pre-development (1900)*

Removing Material 250 2,526

37 376
Engineering and Contingencies 376

Total 287 2,902



Contemporary (2001)**

S 11,000 6,211
Removing Material 11,000 6,211

5,000 2,823
Engineering and Contingencies 5,000 2,823


Total 16,000 9,034




Relative Cost Increases

Dredging 2.5 times more costly

Non-Construction*** 7.5 times more costly

Costs normalized using Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (1982-84 base = 100):
Price indices are: 1913.....9.9; 1982-84.....100.0; 2001....177.1
Army Corps of Engineers dredging "Horseshoe Shoal," northern Pine Island Sound,
1900 (assume cost comparable to 1913 figure), 7,399 cubic yard project, use 13.5 percent of
cost to estimate 1,000 cubic yard volume,
** West Coast Inland Navigation District dredging Gottfried Creek, Lemon Bay, 2000-2001
10,000 cubic yard project, use 10 percent of cost to estimate 1,000 cubic yard volume,
*** Permitting, engineering, monitoring, excluding legal expenses.


Table 2.


27


IJ
I
L.
fr --
r
~I~ --~L~LL


*;;
"""'"'
r' '





28


Dredging of Access Channels and
Residential Canal Development


History
The Army Engineers' dredging projects at Boca Grande
and the lower reach of the Caloosahatchee were the main
focus of the earliest (pre-World War II) local improve-
ments in the region (Map 1). At Boca Grande, an ac-
S cess channel linked Grande Bayou with Charlotte
Harbor and extended a channel along the shore north
of Loomis Key to Gasparilla Sound. The Placida
boat basin (at the mouth of Coral Creek)
was being dredged by 1943. Be-
fore the war, the downtown Ft.
S'. .. ',,.,, ~. tr .,i"i rfi. t. ..a h,...l ...l


aI


filled, and bulkheaded. Access channels along the
Caloosahatchee were dredged into Hendry's Creek (Deep
Lagoon), at lona Cove, and at Punta Rassa Cove (present
day Connie Mack Island). The earliest residential canal
development in the region occurred on the north end of
Estero Island (Ft. Myers Beach) facing San Carlos Island,
andjust north of Gordon Pass (Naples), where by 1940,
John Glen Sample had begun canal construction of
what would become Port Royal, an exclusive develop-
ment of canals and beachfront estates.


/


; /;

Palrptto
Is!pnd.


's"d


Boca
Nueva \
Pass


Gasparilla
Pass


Boca
Grande


. Barras
Islands


-p


i ," = --






Captiva
Pass



'



5


t
'F);


(


Blind
Pass
(Boca
Ciega)


Middle
Ppjiipt


""i: 1~~=


Point
Ybel


'0/be/&ani


Map 1A.
Barrier island pre-development conditions

Pre-development era and contemporary channels and depths. Map 1 is divided
into parts A-J, pre-development and modern periods. The first area is split
into three parts: (1) barrier island (2) Peace River/Matlacha Pass (3)
Caloosahatchee. For this region, widespread depths are available and
presented. For the other two regions (4) Estero Bay and (5) Naples/Marco
Island, only channel depths are available/and shown.


29


Ohrlotte
Hqtmor Calooa-
hatclwh
Pine .
tdlmd, "l

GuH Er.
ol udoo Bey


:'Naple


1'I



II;


--
-c
=L-






I,
Land

Intertidal
0 to 3 feet
>3 to 6 feet
i :.
>6 feet





S
1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Miles


k






30


Dredge-and-fill became the established method to meet
the growing post-war demand for waterfront housing. Be-
ginning in the early 1950s, developers dug many "finger
canals," with the fill deposited behind vertical cement sea-
walls. Sometimes, upland natural drainage features swaless)
were used as templates to extend finger canals inland. A
significant feature of this development era was the build-
ing of large-scale canal communities by a handful ofindi-


Placid
Harbor











Loor
Ke

C




:i ,







Boca
Grande


Placida

eee












STurtle
Bull Bay
Bay


viduals and corporations: Port Charlotte, 90,000 acres in
1956 by General Development Corp.; Cape Coral, 1,700
acres in 1959 by Gulf American Corp.; Marco Island,
25,000 acres in 1964 by Deltona Corp; and Rotunda
West, 20,000 acres in 1969 by Cavanaugh Leasing
Corp. One family, the Mackle brothers (Frank, Elliott,
and Robert), owned or controlled major portions of
General Development, Gulf American, and Deltona Cor-
porations (see Case Studies).
The canals served a number of purposes, including
drainage, creation of waterfront property as an enhance-
ment for sales, access to open water for boating, and a
source of fill material for the creation of developable lots.
In some cases, as in Port Charlotte, the canals drained
into an interceptor lagoon constructed to provide rudi-
mentary water treatment prior to discharge into open wa-
ter. Oftentimes, though, the dead ends of canals were ex-
cavated to excessive depths in order to provide fill for ad-
jacent upland development while the canal mouth or en-
trance to the main water body was left shallow. This com-
mon dredging practice led to environmental deterio-
ration by decreasing the flushing efficiency of the ca-
,nal system, aggravating salinity stratification and con-
rributing to oxygen stress in benthic organisms. The
net negative cost to the boater was and is chronic
'hoaling at the mouths of canals and restrictions in
rhe access channels leading to deep, open water. These
problems, though most severe, in the larger canal sys-
rems, are present almost everywhere, even in simple,
'ingle canals.


o ,

"J'
0i /

0 ,
(Wi' .

00rit'yc,
0: '
p)
1c1,'


Bokeelia























4%


Land

Intertidal

0 to 3 feet

>3 to 6 feet

S>6 feet


S Buck
S Key




Blind
Pass
(1961)


/4
Y York
Island

.- Halloway
Bayou


'aint
- James
City"


1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Miles


'N


Tarpon
Bay
-ibeI Sa,- .. l.
- _,_.-We
/s /n ^


Point
Ybel


Map 1B.
Contemporary barrier island conditions.


31


Pilne.

saluvr Elo
of ".
o lNapco lB



Naples






32


An explosion of waterfront canal development began
in the early 1950s at Aqualane Shores, just north of Port
Royal (Naples), Goodland (east of Marco Island), and St.
James City (south Pine Island). By the 1960s, residential
subdivisions were developing on Naples Bay north from
Gordon Pass to the City of Naples: Port Royal on the
west shore, and Oyster Bay, Royal Harbor and Haldemen
Creek on the east. In 1958, Collier County constructed a
road that severed the natural drainage between Clam Bay
and Doctors (Moorings) Bay. This was followed by the
dredging of finger canals in south Clam Bay and by a


major investment of Moorings Development Co.,
Canada, in Doctors Bay, including dredging, seawall con-
struction, land fill, and inlet stabilization in the form of
jetties and channel dredging at Doctors Pass. The Moor-
ings development scheme spanned most of the 1960s (see
Photographic Record ofWaterway Changes). Naples Park,
situated to the north of Clam Bay and south of Wiggins
Pass, was part of this period's history, and included dredg-
ing both the residential canals and the feeder channel
through Water Turkey Bay to the Cocohatchee.


Piney -
Poin

















































Point
OXf .

1


Cape
SBlan co
'


II.


1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Miles


,A


Big
Island


isherman's
L Key

L^J


Map 1C.
Pre-development Peace River/Matlacha conditions.


I -


-o
(0


Land

Intertidal

0 to 3 feet

>3 to 6 feet


>6 feet


Chrlotte
Harbor Cl0oos-
hatches

PhIR
Land .
Sound

Gun Etao
of ulno Bay



Naple



'we


33


itchel's
Key -,
Punta-.
SRasa,





34


Estero Bay, formerly a sleepy backwater locale, was stir-
ring under the pressures of coastal residential develop-
ment. By 1965, most finger canals on Estero Island (Ft.
Myers Beach) were dredged. Land clearing for the canal
subdivision at Hurricane Bay was complete, along with
dredging of finger canals and an access channel. The
Spring Creek subdivision canals were in place. Canal ex-
cavation was under way on the Imperial River's south
shore, on the mainland side of Little Hickory Bay, and
on the barrier island at Bonita Beach. By the mid-1970s,
canals lined both banks of the Imperial River, and resi-
dents had moved into a waterfront subdivision on the
upper Estero River.


Barrier island canal development farther north, on
Sanibel and Captiva Islands, began in the early 1960s,
with dredging at Halloway Bayou and at South Seas Plan-
tation (now South Seas Resort). However, the comple-
tion of the 3-mile-long causeway in May 1963, connect-
ing Sanibel to the mainland at Punta Rassa, awakened
the islands to a building boom. By 1973, most canals on
the south tip of Sanibel had been dredged.


port- Charlotte
. Alligator ChardlotW' Harbor ,Gee
Bay / 1




Punta
Gorda
d' _,



-- !. -I


2


4>^*tJ


' _iI
































Little
Pine
I -I-- .4


-o-
0 Island

























Map 1D.







Contemporary Peace River/Matlacha
Sain
,Jarme
:: City










Map 1D.
Contemporary Peace River/Matlacha F


Land

Intertidal

0 to 3 feet

>3 to 6 feet

>6 feet

N


W E

S
1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Miles





Matclaha












t[y
S
*4





Sword 5
Point

es Merwin
Key -
- ig
Island
: Fisherm
-Key Punta
MRasa






Pass conditions.


35


Charlotte
Harbor Caloosa-
S hatchel

Pine g I
S aved
Sound ,

uSlf Ethwo
i Moliecs Br



SNaple






36


While the large-scale developments mentioned earlier,
at Port Charlotte and Cape Coral, had their beginnings
in the late 1950s and extended throughout the 1960s,
similar projects were taking shape such as at Punta Gorda
Isles and Alligator Creek in northeast Charlotte Harbor.
Developments along the Caloosahatchee included Deep
Lagoon (Hendry Creek), Hidden Harbour (Whiskey
Creek, formerly Wyoming Creek), McGregor Isles (south
shore), and Waterway Estates, Hancock Creek (Yellow Fe-


ver Creek), Marsh Point, and Yacht Club Colony (north
shore). The Placida and Cape Haze area development
began relatively late in this period, around 1969, and
continued throughout the 1970s, with construction
of canals along Coral Creek and Rotunda West. These
canals, however, were never connected to the bay sys-
tem because of growing public concern with potential
environmental impacts.


_ Marsh
.'Point


Hancock or
Yellow Fever
Creek












Fourmile'
Point


I-


Billy
Creek


Ft. Myers


East
Myers















Land

Intertidal

0 to 3 feet

>3 to 6 feet


S>6 feet


Punta Jewfish
Blanca Creek
Creek


Red Fish
Glover's Paint,
Bight Piney 10
.- Point SR


Hendry's
Creek


lona
Cove


Map 1E.
Pre-development Caloosahatchee conditions.


Harney's
Point


r.Nigger
SHead


'Wyoming
Creek


1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Miles
























,: Marsh
Poi
Hancock North '
Creek t. Myqrs
~l~. Ny. S


Waterw4
Estates .1,


Ft. Myers


Yacht
Club
tColony



Beautiful
-1I Island


East
Ft. Myers


Billy
Creek


1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Miles


1i


il


SPoShell
Point


Whiskey
S Creek
r''" McGregor
Isles


-Deep
SLagoon


aX
oixa


Map 1F.
Contemporary Caloosahatchee conditions.


37


Land


Intertidal

0 to 3 feet

>3 to 6 feet


>6 feet


Pt
IIh

:ca


Gulf
o! Ilrsisc


Ii.'


"a~
Ci~io

r























Cattle
-Wharf


38


San
Carlos
Bay


~~0


Gulf approach to San Carlos Bay, looking north. r Fr i. ,.. .. L.:1-.
(Estero Island) on right in foreground, Sanibel Isl ._i ii .ii .. ....... ...,i I.tr


Estero
Bay






Big Carlos Black
Pass Island
Carlos

Unnamed Island
Pass


Note: 1908 barrier Big
islands shown in Hickor
this vicinity; Pass .
remainder of map -
from 1944 aerial 0
photographs '
0-


0.
Little
Hickory
Pace


S 3 feet or less


>3 to 6 feet
>6 feet

1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Miles


N




S w
S W


Surveyor's
" Creek



The
SCorkscrew


I


0

iggins'
Pass


Map 1G.
Pre-development Estero Bay conditions.


--


.
















San -I
Carlos ...
Island I
Matanzas "( Hurricane
Pass Bay
S I i Hell
-; Peckney
Ft. Myersi ; Bay
Beach


Ten-Mile .
Canal -..

'i -., Ceek
/. .,.oO
Csy'~~


San
Carlos
Park


/

SA-Estero
I Estero -
Co Bay -' Estero Ri'
Coon I


4- j Mound
Caro Key
Po nt
Big Carlos BlaBk
Pass Island


"- Coconut


- 3 feet or I


>3 to 6 feet
>6 feet \V

1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Miles


Lon
Key ../
New \ *, Spring
Pass- .r-" Hick-ory Creek
P Ac Island
Big \ Broadway
Hickory- \ Channel
Pass Big
Slickory Fish
Bay Trap
Little '. Bay
Hickory ( Imperial
Island %> > A River

Little
ess N
S_,,Hickory


4.




0-
Wiggins
Pass


Bay


Cocohatchee
River
4


Map 1H.
Contemporary Estero Bay conditions.


39


Hafbor caloon-.
ShaIcm



some a 1 '






Naplee



P,.
I.'


-






-'V
Gordon's1
River


Naples



Naples .
Bay




Gordon
Pass



John
Pass


.. just as the sun was setting
we arrived Great
Marco Pass, the wind being
so light that we were barely
able to hold our own against
the tide, which was setting
out by the channel with a
velocity ofnearly three knots
an hour; but at last we
succeeded in passing the
inner fairway buoy, and
up for the night."
The settlement on
Marco Island consists
of two or three families,
and here there is
a post ,


Rock
Creek

/










Dollar
S Bay

'XI



Shell
Bay







`7




Little
Marco
Pass


Rookery
Bay


.7


40

[JIr. .-i i, ,i. I i.. 1 i.1.. pr. I.Ir r i rhe last m ajor canal
,...n ,rr,..:r...1 1 II rl. i. i. r lIrr ill, ,I. Li'.cd thefaceofsouth-
... ,..1i.r il I. l I .I r,, F .n n ir, ill, altering the Isles of
C iprI i. N .., il TI k ..n.iii.i rywas designed as a
.r i.-*i.rI...lrl .-i.. 'ri l i.I n.r i.r econd-homecom-
n.IIIl Ir, i..l.. .i.rir -.rir.r l; i .i i., l....led low- to mod-
.r i. -i- .ki.'ir-, .- .It..r *ril I. I.. rl'. Ir i-, shopping services,
,..ll .irlnhr. in.1 lind 1 '.1 ir. i.1 hi,-,.i ss. Buthere, too, as
ini rl, i .. I. .ri.. i l .' r rl' .. -, r owing public con-
i.i .-.. r rl. p. .r.i'ri il ini. p ,r 1rrn i. .rming bay bottoms
in.. i in -i.. -.. i p* 1-r. -.. l...t -,.- i..n -hll into a complex of
upl 1i1.1. '-.. ..1.-n. in..1 -i il. I ir.front hom e sites.
Fl.. *i.1 .. il- i iii ir. .. rl'. r Fl..i.. i. Cabinet became e in-
I ..1 ... rl rl. i. .r..- i.nrnI nr il ... .1i legal, and equitable
i.. rl. ...k. .I .pininr i_'.n..' r.. permit construction
1i...l .. I. .pi n.i ir 1 ,. r *ii.I i.i. I-..r quiring Deltona to
.hni..n i il.i .r p. .rr. .n ..t ir, pr..p. ry from future use.
E'n I..,. I' I iv ir. I-.. r l, I rl... ...pr ind environmental
,. r.ni- -.. i- ..l ..1 rl'.r... l rl'> arco Island Settle-
nl..nr '_ r..ir.ir j.t.,ri .1, l.irri.in rhe door on future
r... r il i il .. . .p n. nr


Henderson
J Creek

SJohnson
Bay
\ -


Big
Marco
Pass


William Henn,
"Caught On A
Lee Shore,"
June 1893.


Tarpon B
Bay Macalvane
Marco Bay
.4-- Bear
Point

IVSmokehouse N
Bay
Marco
Island


Roberts
Bay


Tales of Old Florida,
( 1987.


Barfield
Bay
Horr
Island

\


Point


Caxambas
Pass


3 feet or less
>3 to 6 feet
>6 feet

1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Miles


Blind
Pass


Map 11. Morgan's
Pre-development, Naples/Marco Island conditions. Pass


- ,%fl


Morgan
Bay


Cape
Romano


*







Gordon,
River

Naples


Royal


;ordon-
Pass


Ii... I -. I I ... I ... 1 r. ..


Rookery
Bay


Little


Hurricane
Pass
Little
Marco-
Pass
Capri


Big
Marco
Pass


Isles
of


Addison 8p


Clam--3
Bay



3 feet or less

>3 to 6 feet


>6 feet


1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Miles


Marco
Island


Barfield
Bay


Bay



Goodland


Caxambas
Pass


Island


Kice
Island

Blind
Pass


Map 1J.
Contemporary Naples/Marco Island conditions.


Cape 41
Romano


Rock
Creek

SOyster Bay
East
Naples
.--.Haldeman
Creek
Royal Harbor


Aqualane
Shores


Henderson
Creek


Johnson
Bay


Collier
Bay






42


Geography


This dredging history of access channels and residen-
tial canals has created 1,136 miles of boat channels from
Placida Harbor to Marco Island in Southwest Florida
(Table 1). These channels are concentrated in some areas
more than others: most 49 percent (549 miles) are
located in Charlotte Harbor (25 percent) and along the
Caloosahatchee (24 percent). The next largest concen-
trations are along the Naples-Marco Waterway (13 per-
cent), Pine Island Sound, San Carlos Bay (14 percent)
and Estero Bay (11 percent). Matlacha Pass accounts for
8 percent, and the fewest channel miles are in Gasparilla
Sound and Clam and Doctors Bays (5 percent).


Map 2 depicts the distribution of dredged (improved)
and natural (unimproved) waterways in Southwest
Florida. Seventy-four percent (843 miles) of the chan-
nels are improved (dredged) and 26 percent (293
miles) are unimproved (natural) channels. About 59
percent of the dredged waterways are in Charlotte
Harbor (248 miles) and the Caloosahatchee (248
miles). Another 114 miles (13 percent) are in the
Naples Marco region. Most (33 percent) of the
natural (unimproved) waterways are in Pine Island
Sound and San Carlos Bay (96 miles); this is followed
by Estero Bay, which has 56 miles (19 percent).


Improved (dredged) and unimproved (natural) waterways (miles).

Region Improved Unimproved Total Total (col.%)
Gasparilla Sound 23.1 24.4 47.5 4.2
Charlotte Harbor 247.7 32.4 280.1 24.7
Pine Island Sound/San Carlos Bay 66.0 96.2 162.2 14.2
Matlacha Pass 64.0 26.4 90.4 7.9
Caloosahatchee River 247.9 21.4 269.3 23.7
Estero Bay 69.7 56.1 125.8 11.1
Clam & Doctors Bays 10.9 0.0 10.9 1.0
Naples Marco Waterway 113.7 35.7 149.4 13.2
Total (miles) 843.0 292.6 1135.6 100.0
Total (row%) 74.2 25.8 100.0
Table 1.


Aerial photograph of Marco Island under construction.











Another essential characteristic of boat channel ge-
ography is the form and spacing of channel
segments.Some channels are simple, and others are com-
plex. The channel systems include: finger canals or ba-
sins; multiple canal systems; individual shoreline chan-
nels; shoreline channels linked to finger canals; natural
streams or tidal creeks; and access channels and major
arteries. Figure 1 shows examples of channel forms, and


the regional distributions are illustrated in Map 3 and
Table 2. Fifty-six percent (630 miles) are multiple canal
systems. Most are in Charlotte Harbor and the
Caloosahatchee (215 miles each) and the Naples-Marco
Waterway (81 miles). Another 23 percent (263 miles) is
made up of access channels and major arterials, which
are more evenly distributed within the region. Streams
or tidal creeks represent 7 percent (74 miles); the largest


rS(tSk

4(i


Unimproved
Improved


5 0 5 10

Miles


Map 2.
Distribution of improved and unimproved channels.


43








concentrations are in Estero Bay (29 miles) and Char-
lotte Harbor (24 miles). Shoreline channels linked to fin-
ger canals account for 7 percent (75 miles); 21 miles are
in Pine Island Sound. Single finger canals and solitary
basins total 5 percent (56 miles); Estero Bay has 14 miles
of these waterways. Examples abound on Ft. Myers Beach.
Channels that parallel the shoreline account for only 4
percent (39 miles) of all waterways, almost half of these
(16 miles) are in Gasparilla Sound.
The varied form and distribution of these channel sys-


44
teams directly influences recreational boating in the region.
Consider boating from a location in a multiple channel
system, such as Punta Gorda Isles, where thousands of
waterfront single-family homes line canals that stretch
tens-of-miles inland and where a single channel provides
access to open, deep water. This type of waterway system
characterizes over half of the region's boating channels.
An appreciation for the evolution of these waterway
changes is intrinsic to understanding the need to boat in
concert with nature in Southwest Florida.


Figure 1. Examples of channel types.

Improved (dredged) and unimproved (natural) waterways
Individual Shoreline Channel Access
Regn Finger Canal Multiple Canal I l S line C l Stream or a ls Total Total
Region Fingeor Basinal Mulystem Shoreline Linked to Finger Tidal Creek a (miles) (row o)
Channel Canals and Arterials
Gasparilla Sound 3.5 2.1 15.9 1.4 5.5 19.1 47.5 4.2
Charlotte Harbor 11.3 215.1 1.4 7.2 24.1 21.0 280.1 24.7
Pine Island Sound/San Carlos Bay 2.7 32.4 13.7 21.1 0.0 92.3 162.2 14.2
Matlacha Pass 3.7 52.2 0.4 7.5 0.0 26.6 90.4 7.9
Caloosahatchee River 10.3 214.8 4.0 5.3 10.7 24.2 269.3 23.7
Estero Bay 14.4 30.2 3.1 16.0 29.0 33.1 125.8 11.1
Clam & Doctors Bays 0.0 1.5 0.0 7.5 0.0 1.9 10.9 1.0
Naples Marco Waterway 9.8 81.4 0.7 8.5 4.4 44.6 149.4 13.2
Total (miles) 55.7 629.7 39.2 74.5 73.7 262.8 1135.6 100.0
Total (col. %) 4.9 55.5 3.5 6.5 6.5 23.1 100.0

Table 2.






References
Government Charts
(Compilation [Smooth] Sheets)

U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey, 1863, missing
title Charlotte Harbor, hydrographic (H) sheet,
missingscale, Register No. 797a.

1866, Part of Pine Island
Sound and Approaches to Caloosahatchee
River, Florida (Section IV), hydrographic (H)
sheet, 1:20,000 scale, Register No. 908.

,1866-67, San Carlos Bay and
Caloosa Entrance, Florida (Section VI), hydro-
graphic (H) sheet, 1:20,000 scale, Register No.
917.

,1867, Part of Charlotte Har-
bor, hydrographic (H) sheet, 1:20,000 scale,
Register No. 797a.

___-__ 1878, Charlotte Harbor,
From Pine Isd. To Punta Gorda, Florida (Sec-
tion VI), hydrographic (H) sheet, 1:20,000
scale, Register No. 1388a.

1878, Upper Part of Char-
lotte Harbor and Peas Creek, Florida (Section
VII), hydrographic (H) sheet, 1:20,000 scale,
Register No. 1388b.

1879-80, Gasparilla Sound
and Approaches, Charlotte Harbor, Florida
(Section VI), hydrographic (H) sheet, 1:20,000
scale, Register No. 1480a.

___-__ 1879-80, Matlacha Pass,
Charlotte Harbor, Florida (Section VI), hydro-
graphic (H) sheet, 1:20,000 scale, Register No.
1480a.

,1879-80, Pine Island Sound,
Charlotte Harbor, West of Pine Island, Florida,
hydrographic (H) sheet, 1:20,000 scale, Regis-
ter No. 1480a.

,1893, Caloosahatchee River,
from Sword Point to Red Fish Point, Florida
hydrographic (H) sheet, 1:10,000 scale, Regis-
ter No. 2153.

1893, Caloosahatchee River,
from Four Mile Point to Beautiful Id., Florida,
hydrographic (H) sheet, 1:10,000 scale, Register
No. 2155.

,1893, Caloosahatchee River,
from Red Fish Pt. to Four Mile Point, Florida,
hydrographic (H) sheet, 1:10,000 scale, Register
No. 2154.

__, 1930, Coon Key to Little
Marco and Caxambas Passes, West Coast, Florida,
hydrographic and topographic (H/T) sheet,
1:20,000 scale, Register No. 5072.

1930, Little Marco Pass to
Naples Bay, West Coast, Florida, hydrographic and
topographic (H/T) sheet, 1:20,000 scale, Regis-
ter No. 5067.


Gulf
of
Mexico


Finger Canal or Basin
- Multiple Canal System
Individual Shoreline Canal
Shoreline Channel Linked to
Finger Canal
--- Stream or Tidal Creek

Access Channel


5 0 5 10

Miles




Map 3.
Distribution of channels by type.


Island'


45






46


For Your Information...
Locked Waterways in Southwest Florida


Six freshwater canal systems, totaling 108 waterway
miles (10 percent of all channels), are linked to Southwest
Florida's boating infrastructure (Table 3 and Map 4),
separated from the bays and rivers by either a lock or
berm. Systems with larger boats have gated locks. Boat
lifts hoist smaller vessels over a berm. These freshwater
isolation systems date from the 1970s, when federal leg-
islation began to curtail the impacts of upland develop-
ment on sensitive marine habitats.
State permitting agencies saw in the lock and berm
approach a compromise with developers to reduce the
impacts of stormwater runoff as point source pollution.


The larger canal system designs incorporate a stormwater
trap, comprising a perimeter berm and a "spreader" canal
to distribute runoff behind a fringe of mangroves. In such
a system, stormwater builds up behind the lock and berm,
and excess flow spills over the berm into the perimeter
canal, filters through the mangroves, and seeps out into
the bay. This strategy is considered better for the environ-
ment than concentrated runoff from a single point source.
The three large multiple canal systems Burnt Store
Isles, Cape Coral North Spreader, and Cape Coral South
Spreader fit this design.


Locked waterways in Southwest Florida.
Waterway Channel (miles)

Burnt Store Isles 11.3

Cape Coral North Spreader 47.2

Flamingo Bay 0.2

Cape Coral South Spreader 44.2

Cat Cay Lake 3.5

Hurricane Bay 1.9

Total 108.3
Table 3.


Lock at the entrance to the Cape Coral South Spreader Canal.


























Boat lift at Cat Cay Lake.


I .- --


Boat lift at Flamingo Bay.


Map 4.
Locks and boat lifts.


47































Cape Coral looking Southwest across Redtish Point and the Caloosahatchee with Punta Rassa on the extreme right.


1:. -"---.:.
' ,,


South Marco Island and Roberts Bay in foreground, looking Southwest out Caxambas Pass.
49


:;=;r
~,,






50


The Vision of Rotonda West:
A Self-Contained Circular Community of 50,000


Promoted as "one of the most exciting concepts in plan-
ning," Rotonda West has made an indelible imprint, both
perceived and real, on the Southwest Florida landscape.
Situated on Cape Haze peninsula between Buck and Coral
Creeks in Charlotte County, it epitomizes the quest for
building waterfront property that dominated much of this
region's residential developments of the 1960s era. Imag-
ine "a brand new, community-in-the-round, a unique
circle of eight pie-slice-shaped subdivisions, seven with
their own golf courses and marinas, the eighth with a broad
waterway (Coral Creek), the whole community sur-
rounded by a circular waterway, offering, in all, 32 miles
of navigable, blue-green waterways well-stocked with
freshwater fish." That "vision" of each homesite over-
looking a canal, golf course, landscaped green belt or rec-
reational waterway, and with each homeowner provided
unlimited access to a private Gulf beach on Don Pedro
Island was offered to the public in 1969 by Cavanagh
Leasing Corp. Map 1 shows Rotonda's subdivisions within
and outside the "wheel".


Cavanagh purchased the property from the Vanderbilt
family (descendants of Cornelius Vanderbilt) who had
built the 35,000 acre 2-V Ranch for breeding Santa Ger-
trudis cattle. The land, only a few feet above mean sea
level, had been covered years earlier with pine forest, but
the timber had been cut down for lumber and naval stores
by a succession of owners, including the Gainesville, Ocala
and Charlotte Harbor Railroad (forerunner of the Florida
Southern Railway Company).
Figure 1 shows pre-development conditions that pre-
vailed in 1951. The Vanderbilts' improvements to the land
for cattle grazing included building a dam on West Coral
Creek to block salt water from infiltrating the fresh water
runoff from the uplands. They also developed Cape Haze,
an upscale residential community adjoining the Rotonda
property between Coral Creek and Placida Harbor.


Figure 1. Rotonda aerial mosaic, 1951.






Figure 2 shows conditions in early 1970, the take-off
year of Rotonda's development. The Vanderbilts' Cape
Haze waterfront property had been cleared and
bulkheaded, and finger canals had been dredged; the
Gulf Intracoastal Waterway had established the inland
waterway link between Placida Harbor and Lemon
Bay; dredging was underway in Amberjack Cove (a
natural slough); and the Vanderbilts' dam had been
built across West Coral Creek. Parts of the Rotonda
'wheel' are visible, such as the west, north, and east
sectors of Rotonda Circle, the hub, and construction
within the Oakland Mills subdivision.
























Figure 3 shows the development in 1975. Eleven miles
of canals, 6 feet deep and 60 feet wide, had been dredged
in Oakland Hills, Pebble Beach and Pinehurst subdivi-
sions. Deepwater canals crisscrossed the 2,600-acre
Rotonda Sands area, between East and West Coral Creeks.
About 600 homes were complete by 1976, mostly in
Oakland Hills.
The Rotonda 'vision' promised an idyllic, Shangri-La
lifestyle and implied access to Gulf waters. However, the
developer was unable to forecast mounting public con-
cerns about the health of the environment and passage of
legislation, by 1975, that would halt unbridled destruc-
tion of wetlands. One consequence of the new laws was a
decision never to dismantle the dam across West Coral
Creek; Gulf access would not exist. Construction was
halted on the environmentally sensitive wetlands areas,
effectively blocking development of the St. Andrews and
Rotonda Sands subdivisions. Figure 3 (1975) shows ini-
tial land clearance and canal construction within the sub-
divisions adjoining West and East Coral Creeks. In 1976,
Deltona Corporation, the land development company
headed by the Mackle family, assumed management of
the Rotonda properties. The state eventually purchased
the marginal lands in 1998 under the Environmentally
Endangered Lands Act Cape Haze/Charlotte Harbor
CARL (P2000) purchase.


Figure 3. Rotonda aerial photograph, 1975.


51






52


Today's Rotonda is part of that pre-1975 "dream" and
part post-legislation reality. Cavanagh's dream waterfront
community, with Gulf access, is still perpetuated on some
contemporary street maps. Modern (1995) aerial pho-
tography (Figure 4) shows a very different landscape: relict
canals on the undevelopable St. Andrews and Rotonda
Sands subdivisions outside the wheel; buildout of
homesites within the wheel's western sectors of Oakland


Mills and Pebble Beach; a moderate level of home-build-
ing in the northern Pinehurst and Broadmoor subdivi-
sions; and negligible construction in the east and south-
east White Marsh and Pine Valley areas. The Rotonda of
today is a community shaped by a vision of outdoor liv-
ing, Florida style, and attuned to pursuing that dream in
an environmentally sustainable fashion.


Figure 4. Rotonda aerial photograph, 1999.











































H-gure 5. Hedtish Hoint, 1944.


Figure 6. Dredge Oliver Douglas, 1962.


54








































In the early 1940s, Redfish Point was uninhabited
(Figure 5). Dense mangroves extended inland for 100
yards from the shoreline. The remainder of the property
was only several feet above sea level and covered with
grasslands, palmettos and second-growth pines. Since
local land use regulations mandated homesite construc-
tion at a minimum 5.5 feet above sea level, the Rosens
concluded that dredging would be needed to provide fill
material. Gulf American refined the 'finger-islanding'
dredge method of excavating canals so that most build-
able lots fronted on waterways. A grid-patterned devel-
opment produced the largest number of homesites.
Though the main objective was to create land for home
construction, the use of dredge-and-fill produced a sub-
urban landscape of artificial canals, waterways and ba-
sins, the outlines of which were dictated by the amount
of fill required at a given location. As a result, canal width
and depth varies within Cape Coral: some waterways,
such as in the Yacht Club area, are nearly 200 feet wide
and over 30 feet deep; whereas canals located farther in-
land on higher elevation uplands are only 80 feet wide
and 6- to 15-feet deep.







The dredge-and-fill method, which would later be criti-
cized for its environmental impact, employed in the
peak years of the early 1960s as many as four dredges
and ten draglines, which at times operated around the
clock. Hydraulic dredges, such as Oliver Douglas (Fig-
ure 6), were floating barges that pumped bay-bottom
sediments in a liquid solution onto an emerging up-
land site. Draglines mechanically moved fill from ca-


nals to the uplands by dragging buckets across the
ground (Figure 7). Building sites were bulldozed and
leveled, and, in the process, nearly all vegetation was
removed prior to construction (Figure 8).
By the early 1960s, over 50 million cubic yards of fill
had been moved to create the Cape Coral development
(Figure 9). This included dredging some 170 miles of
saltwater accessible canals and three basins, as well as 14


Figure 7. Dragline at Cape Coral, 1962.


_ =P~lt=---; ~7j-~s-r~u--
--c"
3-
F ~-~
~C c~; 7r-1:.
,c~ ~2i

S..~
~'
r


= -C


Figure 8. Cape Coral oblique aerial photograph, 1959.


r-gure u. Uape Uorai at neuiarin ruiol, unique aerial protograpr, I]o i .


55


' I


.






56


landlocked lakes.Waterway construction totaled about
250 miles by the mid-1970s. But Gulf American's days
were numbered. Conflicts over dredging permits, due to
emerging public concerns about potential environmental
impacts, were costly. The company misjudged the regu-
latory climate. Large holdings became undevelopable, and
in 1969, the Rosen brothers sold out. The City of Cape


Coral, incorporated in 1970, was a community of over
20,000 residents. Its location on the north shore of the
Caloosahatchee and its canalfront homesite development
have retained the hallmark qualities of the American
Dream through the years waterfront living in a Florida
setting (Figure 10).


Figure 10. Redfish Point, 1999.


The natural waterway
along the winding
Caloosahatchee was
widened, straightened and
deepened after flood waters
of the 1928 hurricane
killed hundreds ofpeople
around Lake Okeechobee.
Today, Ft. Myers is the
largest city on Florida's
"original cross-state canal,"
linking the east and west
coasts of the state.








The Ultimate Waterfront Paradise
in Southwest Florida: Marco Island

Marco Island was the single-largest undeveloped track
of barrier island property in Southwest Florida in 1962
when the Mackle brothers Elliott, Robert, and Frank
- visited the site, lured by the prospect that the Colliers
descendentss of Barron Collier, the advertising magnate)
were interested in selling their 10,327-acre land holding,
6,700 on Marco and the rest on the mainland. The broth-
ers purchased the Collier property for $7 million. They
were experienced land developers, having created Miami's
Key Biscayne, an upscale waterfront community, and
through General Development Corp., developed the


118,000-acre Port Charlotte community on Charlotte
Harbor's north shore. The Mackles sold General Devel-
opment in 1961 and formed a new company, Deltona,
which proceeded to develop homesites near Deland and
Daytona Beach, Fla. The Deltona Corporation would be
the corporate instrument to transform Marco into the ul-
timate waterfront paradise.
Figure 11, taken in December 1951, shows Marco Is-
land in its pre-development state. Only two settlements
existed: Marco Village on the north and Goodland on the
east. Scrub vegetation covered most of Marco Island and
an extensive mangrove shoreline fringed the river and bays
in the pre-development period of time. Crescent Beach,
the 5-mile sweep of Gulf shore between Big Marco and
S-.'. n i-F ,,., I. L, "i " 1 r i.p nn .- J Il'rI F,,.
,\ .li..,.!,, r .. *. r.= ,_..,-,,r *,-,r ,v,= ,-, ,i ..> i ,! ,,i . i,- n ..

I ci., ., ,. t rl',,. l I -:. i, [Iri .I'li l Ir[,. .n rl', I-. ..Ild ,
Il',,,. r. v. *,- Iirir, r.irld u- ppl, -. 1,-,-. I'v r.r I-. ,n ,nl-
r tri, ,1 nl' r t1 rl.l. I r i .iu l .


Figure 11. Marco Island aerial photomosaic, 1951.


57








The Army Engineers claimed jurisdiction and required
its approval, in addition to county and state 'building'
permits, since dredge-and-fill could potentially affect
navigation on public waterways. Deltona subdivided the
island into five areas, based on completing dredging and
filling in each area within the Army Engineer three-year
permit period (Figure 12). The company submitted its
permit application for the Marco River area first, in 1964,
and received Corps approval shortly thereafter. A Corps
permit was requested for Roberts Bay in 1967, but the
approval process took two years. The Collier Bay subdi-
vision, submitted to the Corps in 1971, was not approved
until 1976. The Barfield Bay and Big Key areas, which
were scheduled to be developed in the late 1970s, never
received Corps approval for dredging. The battle over
Deltona's dredge-and-fill permit applications was an in-
dication of a nationwide, emerging, environmental ethic
that had prompted passage of landmark legislation to
reign in widescale filling of wetlands, both freshwater and
marine, and destruction of wildlife habitats.
The denial of permit applications by the Army Engi-
neers made it impossible for Deltona to honor its sales
contracts, since it began selling homesites in 1965 in all
of the five areas based on the assumption of'business-as-
usual' in obtaining the federal permits to dredge and fill
in order to create buildable waterfront properties. Though
the company stopped land sales in 1973 within the un-
permitted areas, it had already sold 75 percent of the


sites in Collier Bay, 90 percent in Barfield Bay, and al-
most 100 percent in Big Key. Lawsuits and counter-suits,
concerning the constitutionality of the Army Engineers
decision and regarding just compensation were all decided
against the company. In 1982, Deltona turned over al-
most all its remaining undeveloped holdings on Marco
Island to the state for use as a nature preserve.
Figure 12 shows the extent of Marco's developed and
undeveloped lands. The dream of an ultimate waterfront
residential paradise, thus, came to an abrupt end, and
under current federal, state, regional and local laws, fin-
ger-canal developments will never again be allowed in
Southwest Florida.

References

Books

Alexander, Jack, 1995, Rotonda: the Vision and the
Reality: A short history of a Florida development, Tabby
House, Charlotte Harbor, Florida.

Dodrill, David E., 1993, Sell, ug the Dream: The Gulf
American Corporation and the Building of Cape Coral,
Florida, The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa,
Alabama.

Waitley, Douglas, 1999, The Last Paradise: TheBuild-
ing of Marco Island, The Marco Island Eagle, Marco Is-
land, Florida.


Map 2.
Marco Island development plan.


59





60


I ~ LI
I-


/


"~''s/'dG


Photographic
Record of
Waterway Changes

Perhaps the best way to understand the
dynamic changes that Southwest Florida has
undergone is through the photographic
record of waterway alterations. In the last
100-plus years, Southwest Florida's shorefront
has changed from a collection of rural, deso-
late areas of scrub, mangrove, and salt marsh
dotted with sleepy agricultural and fishing
communities into a vibrant, growing urban
area lush with bustling cities and vast resi-
dential developments.
The following descriptions, in words and
pictures, offer a glimpse of Southwest Florida
as it once was and how it has changed. Map
1 shows locations of the areas described.


I I


, ^I


saoC
Sc17crlo, _
I' sla,,
t/8.I
































II
// I


I.

I


-' -Id


1ose
,.~
















Map 1.
Photo record case studies. 61


26.0






62


1. Downtown Punta Gorda Waterfront


Downtown Punta Gorda Waterfront changes are cap-
tured in maps and photographs from 1921 to present day.
The Army Engineers 1921 maps (Figures 1A and 1B)
shows existing waterfront conditions and those from an
earlier time. In 1885-86, the railroad completed aspur to
(a) Old Long Dock (Old Cattle Wharf on map), the first
modern dock facility used by commercial fishermen to
off-load fresh fish packed in ice and to ship their catch by
rail to United States markets. In 1897, Long Dock was
abandoned (later destroyed) for the Atlantic Coast Line
railroad dock (b) at King Street. City Wharf (Figure
1A, c), at the foot of Sullivan Street (Figure 1C), was
destroyed in 1921.
A fire in 1915 destroyed the fish houses on the King
Street Dock, but some were rebuilt. Figure 1B shows fish
houses and ship chandleries on the King Street Dock (b)
and the Ice Wharf (d) at the foot of the alley to the east.
The riverfront between King and Nesbit Streets was lined
with small marine ways, boat repair facilities, and a black-


smith shop (e). Fishing boats, like the auxiliary-powered
schooner Roamer (Figure 1 D), operated from Punta Gorda
during this era. The Nesbit Street Bridge (Figure 1B, f)
was a county road that spanned the Peace River from Punta
Gorda to Live Oak Point and Charlotte Harbor Town.
The King Street Dock (Figure 1B, b) was removed in the
late 1920s in order to build the modern bridge right of
way. A residential district along Retta (Esplanade) Avenue
had been laid out early in the city's history (Figure 1E).
The aerial photograph in Figure 1F shows early 1940s
waterfront conditions; antecedent structures described
above are outlined in red. Note the old bridge approach
at the foot of Nesbit Street. The area to the west had been
filled. An old landmark hotel (g) remained from bygone
days, as did the abandoned railroad spur to the Old Cattle
Wharf. By the early 1940s, a dredged boat basin and pier
(h) occupied the present-day location of Fishermen's Vil-
lage. The City's riverfront park (i) at Retta Esplanade was
an open space.


Figure 1A. Punta Gorda downtown, 1921.






















49 4.9




PRO


2 oC


7.6
6Z
67

,90


,, b


47
4-7

4 1-


0.6


'3'


\


GORDA


Figure 1B. Punta Gorda downtown (detailed plan), 1921.


63


0,67






The modern waterfront (Figure 1G) shows a com-
pletely transformed urban space. The old Nesbit Street
County Bridge is replaced by two separate fixed spans -
southbound traffic on Gilchrist Bridge and northbound
on Collier Bridge. Commercial marine facilities have given
way to service retail outlet stores and hotels. The open
space along Retta Esplanade is Gilchrist Park. A time-


64
share duplex with retail shopping, restaurants and mod-
ern marina Fishermen's Village occupies the com-
mercial fish pier at the former location of the Old Cattle
Dock. Land has been filled out into the river to provide
buildable space for these expanding services. The old-town
atmosphere and early 1900s buildings, especially old homes,
are retained along Marion and Olympia and west ofNesbit.


)I


Figure 1D. Schooner Roamer at Punta Gorda.


Figure 1. Punta Gorda Retta (Esplanade) Avenue.
Figure 1 E. Punta Gorda Retta (Esplanade) Avenue.


Figure 1G. Punta Gorda downtown,1992.









































Figure 2A. Location of Punta Gorda Isles, 1944.


Figure 2B. Punta Gorda Isles, 1972.


Punta Gorda Isles

Punta Gorda Isles is illustrative of the most dramatic
changes in waterway development namely, those di-
rectly tied to dredge-and-fill which made land avail-
able for residential use. In 1944 (Figure 2A), much of the
area was scrub, unimproved pasture, and wetland. By 1972
(Figure 2B), Alligator Creek (a) had artificial canals ex-
tending north into Charlotte Park (b) and Riviera (c),
while most of the canals north of Aqui Esta Drive (d) in
Punta Gorda Isles had been created. By 1995 (Figure 2C),
the entire canal system, as its exists today, comprised over
2,000 salt-water parcels with access channels north to the
Peace River, or through Ponce de Leon Channel (e) and
Alligator Creek (a) to Charlotte Harbor.


Figure 2C. Punta Gorda Isles, 1995. (False-color Infrared Image)


65






66

Punta Blanca Settlement

Punta Blanca's Settlement, which occupied the south
tip of the island until the late 1950s, typifies the smaller,
self-contained fishing communities that dotted the Char-
lotte Harbor shoreline in the early 20th century. Settled
by some of the same fishing families that populated
Cayo Costa, Boca Grande, and Pine Island, some 15
households lived there in the years preceding World
War II. The village included a schoolhouse and gen-
eral store. Small-boat repairs and fishing were the main-
stays of the economy.
The aerial view taken in 1944 shows many features of
the historic settlement (Figure 3A). The dredged approach
channel (a) and boat basin (b) are prominent elements.
Note the fish-house (c) south of the entrance to the ap-
proach channel, which was a favorite photo subject of
boaters heading down Pine Island Sound channel until it
burned in 1995 (Figure 3B). Prop-wash of the run-boats,
as they came alongside and serviced the fish-house, cre-
ated the shoal (d). The boat building shed at (e) had a
marine ways used for launching. Other structures shown
on the photo are the school (f), general store (g), commu-
nity dock (h) and out-houses (i).
The settlement had one telephone, connected to Boca
Grande by an underwater cable crossing the inlet and
overhead wires strung on poles across Pelican Bay. School-
age children from neighboring islands were shuttled to
and from Punta Blanca until the school burned down
in the late 1950s and Lee County terminated boat
pickup service.
Today, little remains of this pioneer fishing commu-
nity (Figure 3C). The site is overgrown with exotic veg-
etation, mostly Australian pine. The wellhead pipe of an
artesian spring that once supplied drinking water rotted
out years ago. The dredged entrance channel still accom-
modates deep-draft boats that venture into the basin and
seek shelter from northers during the winter season.


Figure 3A. Punta Blanca, 1944.


Figure 3B. Fish house at Punta Blanca, 1970.


Figure 3C. Punta Blanca, 1999.







Downtown Ft. Myers Waterfront
Downtown Ft. Myers waterfront today (Figure 4A) is
a different world from how it appeared in 1887 (Figure
4B) when Capt. W. M. Black of the Army Engineers un-
dertook the first hydrographic survey of the
Caloosahatchee. Only one dock extended into the river
from the southwest shore between the Edison home and
Billy's Creek. In the 1880s, improvements by the federal
government to the lower reach of the river, along with


land drainage efforts by private interests in the upper
Caloosahatchee valley that allowed growing citrus, pro-
vided the basis for downtown waterfront development.
Ft. Myers evolved into a shipping hub for outbound pro-
duce and incoming agricultural supplies. Docks, such as
the City Dock at the foot of Jackson Street and Ireland's
Dock off Hendry Street, were elaborate structures extend-
ing far out to deep water in the river (Figure 4C). The


,,-i Old Brid
urFoce onp Road
/ A64 L Bayshore


.% %R 2 PA P . P



5 3 66 R 0
5..PA PA" .. L .. Woo
Subm p4S~ 2 0.1
Home Billy' ss R r PA a


SOvP; -
po!: *sP^ Bridgeee


iur4A. D. M ersw n r" ar1924,
5 2 L.,. ..... ISO .- L_ -2AUned
soSan, R "7

4* i,^1 ii,1940s P
R--/ F .BRIDG l -





4Alanul SurfacMd tRmp 6J e R


Creek
Figure 4A. Downtown Ft. Myers waterfront from nautical chart 11427,1998.
Home Billy'
rm~cL ~FI Jp ~ B ~Creekp
Fiur 4 owtwnFt M er atrfon fo nutca cat 147,198


Figure 4B. Location of Ft. Myers (from U.S. Army Corps map of 1887).


67













Ice houses were located
at strategic points
around Charlotte
Harbor, near the
favorite rounds
and in water deep
enough for the run boats
from thefish companies.
The run boat brought a
load of ice and
exchanged it for a load
offish. Fishers were able
to quickly bring their
catches to the ice house
as soon as they were
netted. The run boats
also brought groceries
and other supplies to the
fishers and left them
at the ice house
to be picked up.


City Dock housed a variety of services, such as a fish
market, Chinese laundry, machine shop and boat-
ways. With the arrival of the railroad to Ft. Myers in
1904, rail spurs and packing houses on docks off
Monroe Street accommodated produce shipped
downriver (Figure 4D). A wooden bridge crossed the
river in 1924, upstream from the modern bridges (Fig-
ure 4A); it was destroyed by fire in the 1940s.
The 1930s Works Progress Administration (WPA)
Depression-era project built the $350,000 Yacht Ba-
sin, transforming the historic working waterfront, with
its long docks and packing houses, into a recreational
boating hub featuring a palm tree-lined park and
promenade. A 1940s aerial photograph (Figure 4E)
shows the early development of this new waterfront.
Bay Street was the closest street parallel to the
riverfront. Packing houses at the foot of Monroe Street


Ireland's Dock



A- Act -


68

still existed; a fire destroyed them in the early 1950s. The
new Edison Bridge at Fowler Street is visible.
Wooded Lofton Island is in the upper left corner. J.F
Lofton dredged the earlier downtown boat basin (Figure
4F) and created a spoil bank (island), which he claimed
by squatter's rights. A 1951 photo (Figure 4G) shows the
home of J.L. Hunt on Lofton Island. (Lofton Island is
now Pleasure Key.) Today's waterfront (Figure 4H), span-
ning the Caloosahatchee and Edison (southbound)
bridges, includes Centennial Park and the Yacht Basin.
More land was filled on the riverfront, and Edwards Drive
was built to provide a scenic drive and access to the city's
shoreline recreational facilities. The federally maintained
Okeechobee Waterway flanks the waterfront and con-
nects downtown Ft. Myers with the U.S. Eastern Sea-
board and the Gulf of Mexico.


Lofton Island

City Dock


Figure 4(C. Ireland's dock and city dock at -t. Myers, 1914.


Figure 4D. Packing houses at Ft. Myers, 1929.


-. ---. .0 .- 1 -S E -














































Figure 4E. Downtown Ft. Myers waterfront, 1940s.


Hgure 41-. Downtown Ht. Myers waterfront, 1929.


69








70


Figure 4G. J. L. Hunt home on Lofton Island, 1951.


Figure 4H. Downtown Ft. Myers, 1998.









Yacht Club Colony


Aerial photographs show 1940s (Figure 5A) and 1998
(Figure 5B) conditions. Daughtrey Creek, a tributary of
the Caloosahatchee, is a meandering stream with numer-
ous distributary (interlocking) channels, which forms a
delta as it approaches the river. The surrounding area in
the 1940s was scrub and brushland vegetation used for
extensive cattle grazing, with no visible habitation. The
light-colored intersecting lines running north-south and
east-west in Figure 5A are square-mile "sections" of town-
ships (divisions of the U.S. Land Office Survey) and prob-
ably represent cleared, unpaved tracks. Figure 5B shows


Figure 5A. Location of Yacht Club Colony,


the multiple canal system, Yacht Club Colony, with some
200 residential parcels. The main entrance channel (a)
has been dredged and linked to use Daughtrey Creek as
the trunk artery (b) for a series of dredged finger canals
(c). A second entrance channel (d) connects with a single
finger canal (e) running north from the river. Most of the
canals were dredged to 6 feet or less. However, those on
either side of Cape Way (f) reach depths of 9 to 15 feet,
likely to supply fill for building up the land surface to a
higher elevation.


Figure 5B. Yacht Club Colony, 1998.






72


Figure 6A. San Carlos Island and Ft. Myers Beach, 1940s.


San Carlos Island
and Ft. Myers Beach

The low, oblique aerial photograph taken in 1940 (Fig-
ure 6A) shows Matanzas Harbor before arrival of the large-
scale shrimp trawler fleet operations at San Carlos Island.
Note the net spreads drying on platforms built on the
mud flat (a). Much of the traditional bay fishing of this
era was for mullet, with fishers using small skiffs either
poled or powered with outboard engines. Also, note the
many vacant lots lining the finger canals on Ft. Myers
Beach (b). The 1992 photograph shows some remarkable
changes (Figure 6B). There are many docks, two or more
boats rafted alongside each other, lining the San Carlos
shoreline (c). This is the shrimp trawler fleet. There is an
absence of any structures on the mud flat (a). Most of the
Ft. Myers Beach finger canal lots have homes (b). A num-
ber of full-service marinas (d) and waterfront restaurants
with transient docks (e) cater to recreational boaters. The
harbor also serves as an anchorage (f) for transiting boat-
ers, accommodating upwards of 100 boats during the
winter season. (The town of Ft. Myers Beach is in the
process of developing an anchorage management plan).


Figure 6B. Ft. Myers Beach, 1992.







The Moorings, Doctors Bay
Pre-development (1958) conditions included Doc-
tors Pass, a small natural tidal inlet subject to migration
and closure, which fed relatively open water back-bays
fringed by mangroves and connected to Clam Bay to the
north. Collier County, in 1958, constructed Seagate Drive
(Figure 7A, a) and effectively severed tidal flow between
Doctors and Clam Passes; culverts built in 1976 to re-
connect the back-bays have done little to improve flush-
ing. Beginning in 1959, Moorings Development Com-
pany of Canada began large-scale improvements, includ-
ing removal of the mangrove fringe, deep dredging of the
bay to create spoil for land fill, construction of seawalls
along the entire perimeter of the bay, and straightening,
jettying, and dredging Doctors Pass. Figure 7B shows the
extent of this comprehensive development, which dramati-
cally altered the natural system, in the 1970s.
The jetties (b) at Doctors Pass interrupt south-flowing
longshore transport of beach sand, which contributes to
deposition along the north jetty and creation of an off-
shore shoal, a hazard to navigation. Maintenance dredg-
ing periodically alleviates this problem. The beach
south of the jetties is starved of beach sand, which has
led to the placement of a groin field (c) to catch and
retain drifting sand.
Single-family residences (d) line the east side of Doc-
tors Bay, while the west side accommodates multi-family
residences and high-rise residential condominiums. The
population fluctuates seasonally.


gure 7A. Seagate Drive, Naples, 1958.


Hgure 71. Doctors bay, Naples, 1970s.


73







Port Royal, Aqualane Shores, and Royal Harbor, Naples
The 1930 hydrographic chart (Figure 8A) shows man- shows dredging operations du
grove and swamp covering much of today's exclusive fin- Shores. Note the suction dredg
ger-canal residential areas that border Naples Bay. But, by pipeline (b) to upland sites
even then, a canal (red-line) had been dredged in Aqualane nal, shown in Figure 8A, is at
Shores. Though some development occurred just before canals had been dredged and
World War II in the Port Royal subdivision, the 1950s of the building was well unde
signaled massive finger-islanding in Aqualane Shores, exclusive, single-family reside
Royal Harbor, and Port Royal (Figure 8B). Figure 8C


74


ring 1950 at Aqualane
e (a) transferring slurry
S(c). The pre-1930 ca-
(d). By 1969, all of the
seawalled, and much
r way in this region of
nces (Figure 8D).


_3s. 1?


a
SP


T Canal




*A..
S- S
h 1 i(







T ^o
^t."..* jr


A,r




Is-





4i*~


4'

~I7 I


.. ,.c.~
v~r-c.
r
'
.C;
i:

GORDON':: ..

~rrCi~
'
~ikL
:? ~


4141

\vAPI

II-
An.'


.8c) ,

~Iva


$
-u-.
44 -O

oo, r


-~*r*


.r4,w







e.
14 A*







15.as
;? ~


-~~5:,a~ ~X ~h, i
bhni -'z h:
,i~icri~c~
u \.
~e *

~ I

v` ;1LC~;C;~:
4r
C
\k *, f)-3


fa ti.'. 0
aa.Y
It R s


*t


4'Ile


4









4"


*"


Figure 8A. Naples Bay, 1930, (from H-sheet 5067).


*a t
j 4 -.


*~ ~
Jk l




1 *


C --~-

~- 1


^

a


I


!
f
i




\
\
i


, ,sz,.----L--.


E


'"' "I" ~"'


r





















Figure 8B. Naples, 1959-60: Port Royal and Royal Harbor.


Figure 8C. Dredging at Aqualane Shores, 1950.


Figure 8D. Port Royal, Royal Harbor, and Aqualane Shores, 1969.


75






76


Waterway at Shell Bay and John's Pass


The hydrographic chart of 1930 (Figure 9A) and a
1952 aerial photograph (Figure 9B) show both naturally
occurring and human-induced changes in waterway con-
ditions. John's Pass (a), a "wild," wave-dominated inlet,
shows a north-trending recurved spit with barely open
channel conditions on the 1930 chart. This inlet had a
history of openings and closures. By 1952, the inlet had
closed; it is believed to have opened briefly with the
passage of Hurricane Donna in 1960, but closed shortly
thereafter.


The Naples-Marco waterway (Figure 9A, b) was in a
natural condition when the Coast Survey mapped the area
in 1930. Numerous oyster bars impeded boat traffic. Lo-
cal interests made some improvements in the 1930s, but
the federal government assumed responsibility in 1940
and systematically dredged the waterway. The dredged
material, or spoil (Figure 9B, c), was placed side-cast and
parallel to the channel, on the fringing mangroves, creat-
ing a linear northwest-southeast trending series of coni-
cal hillocks, where upland exotic vegetation is now the
predominant cover.


Figure 9A. Shell Bay and John's Pass, 1930, (from H-Sheet 5067).























































Figure 9B. Shell Bay and John's Pass, 1940s.


77






78
Smokehouse Bay

Smokehouse Bay is a back-bay of Collier Bay, which
is located west of Marco Village and connects with the
mouth of the Marco River at Big Marco Pass. Smokehouse
Bay in the pre-development period encompassed an ex-
tensive intertidal area, which was a prime breeding ground
for mosquitoes (Figure 10A). An initial step in dredge-
and-fill operations was to build a dike around the con-
struction site and seal it off from tidal fluctuations, thus
eliminating a critical larval breeding requirement. An
aerial photograph taken in October 1976 (Figure 10B)
shows dikes at (a). A suction dredge is operating at (b).
Figure 10C shows the dredge (b) and pipeline (c), which
was operating near the intersection of North Collier Bou-
levard and Tigertail Court. Slurry, dredged from
Smokehouse Bay, is being deposited at upland sites (Fig-
ure 10B, d). The final dredge-and-fill construction stage
included filling a land-bridge at Giralda Court (e) and
removing the dike at the distal end of Tigertail Court
(Figure 10D, f). Figure 10D shows waterway conditions
upon completion of dredging and home construction.


Figure 10A. Smokehouse Bay, 1952.


Figure 10B. Smokehouse Bay, 1976.






























Figure 10C. Dredging in Smokehouse Bay, 1976.


Figure 10D. Smokehouse Bay, 1992.


79






80


Clam Bay
Prior to development, a tidal creek (Figure 11A, a),
often not more than mid-thigh deep, connected Clam
Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Mangrove forest (b) sur-
rounded Clam Bay. The natural drainage system to the
Gulf, which periodically closed was augmented in the
canal development process with two new water connec-
tions (Figure 11B), through Smokehouse Bay (c) and
Collier Bay (d), both of which drain into the Marco River.
The 1976 aerial photograph (Figure 11C) shows an in-


termediate stage in the development process, with Clam
Bay sealed off from tidal exchange and seawalls (e) con-
structed around the perimeter. The upland behind the
seawalls would be gradually filled in: Kendall south of
Hernando is filled with recent spoil (white on photo),
whereas Kendall north of Century still retains some of
the mangrove fringe. In its final development stage (Fig-
ure 11D), Clam Bay is completely lined with sea walls
and surrounded by single- and multi-family residences.


Figure 11A. Clam Bay, 1952.






82


Land Use and Land Cover
Changes Along the Shoreline


Late 19th century mariners sailing along Southwest
Florida's shore encountered few settlements. Population
was sparse on the barrier islands, the eastern shore of
Charlotte Harbor, Estero Bay, and Naples Bay and in the
Caloosahatchee valley. Prior to the arrival of the railroad
in Punta Gorda (1886) and the Big Freeze of 1892, only
a few dozen persons lived on the islands and along the
shore in this region.
Range cattle roamed freely over wide areas from the
Myakka River south. During the Civil War, Southwest
Florida was a prime source of beef for the Confederate
army. Afterwards, and until about 1878, the primary
market was Cuba. Cattle were shipped from Punta Gorda
and Punta Rassa.
During the pre-development period, bay and Gulf
fishing was in the hands of Cubans who often employed
Native Americans as deckhands and established seasonal
fish camps on islands all along this stretch of the Gulf
coast: Lacosta, Mondongo, Pelau, Punta Blanca, Useppa,
Captiva, Sanibel, Estero, Mound, Black, Little Hickory,
and Marco. Cuban fishermen dried and salted mullet for
the Cuban market, living in "ranchos" or palmetto-
thatched houses. These fishing stations existed for more
than three centuries, beginning in the late 1600s. The
arrival of the railroad at Punta Gorda in 1886 and estab-
lishment of an ice factory there in 1893 opened up the
domestic United States fresh fish market to local fisher-
men. More than 20 icehouses, from Charlotte Harbor to
Estero Bay, were built to hold the day's fresh catch, which
was collected by run boats and transported to Punta Gorda
for shipment north. The local fisher-folk culture gradu-
ally changed as Cubans either assimilated into local Florida
families or returned permanently to Cuba.
Production of naval stores and logging were other im-
portant local industries that followed the railroads into


the region. Turpentine camps, or "stills," operated from re-
mote locations, oftentimes using forced, convict laborers.
The 1890s witnessed the rapid introduction of the cit-
rus industry as north Florida growers reestablished groves
in the region below the frost-free line, producing citrus
in the Caloosahatchee valley, along the shores of Estero
Bay and Naples Bay, and on Marco Island. Before rail-
roads, getting products to market and providing settlers
with supplies meant reliance on inland water transport.
Steamers and sailing schooners hauled fruit and vegetables
north to Punta Gorda and returned south with grain and
other supplies.
The arrival of the railroad in 1904 at Ft. Myers caused
a boom in the local economy. Ft. Myers became the dis-
tribution and commercial center for Southwest Florida.
The railroad offered northern tourists unrestricted access
to winter vacation locales. Guest homes and hotels were
established in the major towns. By the turn of the cen-
tury, Punta Gorda and Ft. Myers each had between 1,200
and 1,500 inhabitants. The sparsely settled conditions and
extensive land use during this pre-development period
are reflected in Map 1-A, C, E, G, and I.
There is a striking difference between the pre-devel-
opment waterfront use of the 1858-1944 period and that
of the bayside and barrier islands in the 1990s (Map 1-B,
D, F, H, and J). Table 1 summarizes the major changes in
land use and land cover bordering this 253-square-mile
shoreline area from pre-development to modern eras. The
most dramatic change visible on Map 1A-J is the phe-
nomenal urban development: the 1-square-mile aggregate
urban area of the 1890s grew to 81 square miles by the
1990s, an 8,100-percent increase. Another discernible
change during this period is the decline in vegetated up-
lands (forest, shrub, and brushland), a 76-percent decrease
from 46 to 28 square miles.


Land use and land cover bordering the Southwest Florida shoreline: Pre-development era and 1990s.
Land Use and Land Cover Pre-development+ Contemporary Change
(miles)* (percent) (miles)** (percent) (percent)
Wetland and Mangroves 129 51 135 53 +4
Vegetated Upland 117 46 28 11 -76
Agriculture 2 1 6 2 +200
Barren 4 2 3 1 -25
Urban 1 0 81 32 +8100
Total 253 100 253 99
Table 1.


Sources:
* U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, T-Sheets No. 693, 738, 739, 853, 854, 855, 856, 1048, 1554a, 1554b,
2122, 2123, 2126, 4289, H/T-Sheets No. 5067, 5072, and 1944 aerial photography covering Estero Bay.
** South Florida Water Management District and Southwest Florida Water District, 1995.
+ Pre-development Time Span: Charlotte Harbor (including Gasparilla Sound, Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass
and San Carlos Bay):1858-1867, Caloosahatchee:1882-1883, Estero Bay: 1944, Naples-Marco: 1930.
















Southwest Florida once
shared a heritage of
natural resources as
bountiful and awe-
inspiring as any region of
America. Its heritage
reflects the geological
history, geographic
location and biological
evolution of the United
States' only humid and
sub-tropical peninsula.
Coastal waters abounded
with fish, rumored to
impede the progress of
sailing ships and
rowboats. Birds were so
numerous as to eclipse the
sun when their flocks took
wing. Naval stores of
pine, cypress and oak
seemed without limit.
Not that the region was a
benign Eden. Mosquitoes
swarmed after sudden
rains in numbers
kill livestock.
Wildcats, venomous
snakes, "' bears,
sharks and other wildlife
were elements ofeveryday
life for explorers
and settlers.


i i


Clam factory of Marco Island, circa 1910.


Grande Bayou, Boca Grande in the early 1900s.


The Caloosahatchee before development.


83


,,

~tifi!






84

1. Placida is the Spanish word for "placid," an apt term to describe Placida Harbor, located at the mouth of Coral
Creek and at the north end of Gasparilla Sound, with access to the Gulf through Gasparilla Pass. The town origi-
nated with a bunkhouse of the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railroad locals called it the "Cold, Hungry and
Naked" line later supplemented by relocation of the Gasparilla fishing village. It has been a major commercial
fishing center for decades. Today, with the impact of the commercial fishing gill net ban in 1995, most of the fishing
activities in the area have been curtailed and many of the stores closed, although some shops and a restaurant are still
in operation.


2 Ca\oe PIlat i, 1 1 tr,,. I I ind ".- r D;,.ll ; 1, n.id F,. ringg Charlotte Harbor. The island's settlement dates
r.. rl,. I,., in i ,'n p '. .1. ir .- i .. I. ,p I-, I ,I'. .i'n 'i I., mn en during the 19th century. An 1832 expedition
d I. ,-I-,i-. s np ml, -pI -p. I.C1.. ,i l-. -ni I -.rrl'ment "...from 60 to 70 inhabitants who keep an
i-.d.,,n,. ,: I. 1.. .1. iri'i,'n.ril-.I. Tile term "Pelau" is West Indian Spanish jargon for
1- 1.1 *p..r iprl, .l,: -i' rIIn I rl,. nr r the island's wet-dry marsh, surrounded by gumbo
Ill&-., ind I. ll [i n ,r ri,


Bo Bcca
Nueva





01
-o

Bocca
Gasparilla -
I>
Gasparilla
Village





















Boca
Grande


2

Cayo
Pelau


Bull
Bay






Charlotte Harbor


Mondongo
Punta Island
Blanca
islandd






6 1Barras
S Useppa Islands
Island
Palmetto
Island


SGaspar.la Island is bounded on the north by Gasparilla Pass, on
rl.. r I-', i_ Ip ',Illa Sound, on the south by Boca Grande (Pass) and
.. rli. ..r I--, rlI. Gulf of Mexico. The island was sparsely settled by
fishing families until the late 19th century. The fed-
eral government in 1848 established a military res-
ervation at Boca Grande, including both the south-
Sern end of Gasparilla Island and the northern end of
Lacosta Island. A lighthouse was built and placed in
operation in 1890.
Construction began on a port facility and rail-
road spur to receive and ship phosphate ore mined
in the Peace River Valley in 1905. The railroad pro-
vided access to the outside world. Fish houses were
established along the rail line, which brought in ice
from the mainland (Punta Gorda) and shipped out
fresh fish. The fish house at the north end of the
island developed into Gasparilla Village. The rail-
road also attracted land investors. The Gasparilla Inn
opened in 1911 as a resort hotel, and Boca Grande
was on its way to become an upscale community ca-
tering to affluent winter visitors and sports fisher-
men. Homes on Gilchrist and ParkAvenues date back
to this early development period. Storm-induced
beach recession in the 1920s required the railroad to
be shifted eastward. Fill dredged from the bay bot-
tom along the east shore created Loomis Key. Boat-
ers now use the dredged channel when transiting
north from Grande Bayou to Gasparilla Sound. The
Boca Grande Causeway, providing road connection
to Placida, was built in 1958. In the late 1970s, the
Port Boca Grande docks and storage facilities were
Found in need of extensive repairs and were aban-
doned in favor of shipping ore from the Peace River
mines directly by rail to Tampa. The Boca Grande
rail spur right of way became a bicycle path, and Port
Boca Grande became an oil storage depot.
The lighthouse was retired from service in 1966
when automated channel navigation lights were in-
stalled. The old lighthouse became a site on the Na-
tional Register of Historic Places in 1980. The U.S.
Coast Guard recommissioned the light in 1986, and
the Florida Department of Environmental Protec-
tion manages the park facilities. The lighthouse is
now the location of a historical museum.







Captiva
Pass



-o













S8













Blind
Pass
(Boca
Ciega)


Land Use/Land Cover
Urban & Built-Up
Agriculture
Shrub, Brushland, Rangeland
Upland Forest
Water
SWetlands
Mangrove
Barren Land


Pine Island Sound


Regla
Island
'4


Chino'
Island


PRE-DEVELOPMENT









Middle
Point


Point
Ybel


S


Miles


Map 1-A.
Pre-development conditions along the barrier islands.


wbor;

k B

don"j


hatcetM



bm
kw


85


I









-C


-'"-
i -\




Useppa Island was
the first land purchased
in Southwest Florida
by New York
advertising millionaire
Barron Collier.
Later, he was to purchase
more Florida land than
any other one person,
including much
ofLee County.


4. Lacosta Island (Cayo Costa) is a barrier island situ-
ated south of Boca Grande and north of Captiva Pass.
The number of Indian shell mounds on the island indi-
cate human habitation dates far back in the pre-Discov-
ery period. The island was used periodically by Cubans
during the 19th century as a base for fishing in Charlotte
Harbor and nearby Gulf waters. In 1880, the original
(1848) land parcel acquired as a military reservation by
the federal government (see Gasparilla Island note above)
was modified, and a limited area along the Boca Grande
shore was set aside for military purposes, a pilot station,
and a marine hospital. The federal government relin-
quished control of this property in 1938. Lacosta Island
retained a quasi-clandestine reputation, even when os-
tensibly under federal control. It was a base for smug-
gling operations, especially rum from Cuba during the
Prohibition, and is reported to have had a house of ill
fame frequented by fishermen and sailors from the many
Cuban fishing smacks that frequented the harbor at the
turn of the century.
The feral hogs on the island were vestige of the island's
past and accounted for the numerous trails through the
impenetrable cabbage-palm forest. A number of resi-
dences remain on the island: some are in an abandoned
state, others are maintained as fishing retreats. Lee County,
in 1959, established a park on the northern 640 acre par-
cel. This park was turned over to the Florida Depart-
ment of Environmental Protection in the early 1980s.


Useppa Island, looking south towards the barrier islands.


Gasparilla Pass with causeway to Placida in foreground, looking south,
down Gasparilla Island to Boca Grande, Lacosta Island (Cayo Costa) at
upper right and Pine Island at upper left.


86


5. Useppa Island was settled by the ancestors of Calusa
Indians thousands of years ago. Fort Casey was established
here during the Seminole Wars, but was short-lived. A
fishing community, called "Guiseppe," later developed
on the island. During the Civil War, a Union naval sta-
tion garrisoned here to protect refugees and curtail the
smuggling of provisions to the Confederacy. Useppa's
modern post-19th century history stems from its pur-
chase by John Roach, president of the Chicago Street
Railway Company, who built a home and small hotel,
the Useppa Inn, where he entertained friends and busi-
ness associates Henry Ford and Thomas Edison by fish-
ing for tarpon during the winter months. Barron Collier
bought the property in 1911 for his Florida residence.
Today, the former Collier Mansion is the site of the
Useppa Island Club and the island has been devel-
oped into an exclusive residential community.


6. Cabbage Key This island in Pine Island Sound, just
west of Useppa, is 100 acres upon which is a resort, ma-
rina and restaurant. The resort is built atop a 38-foot-
high Native American shell mound. The island is easy to
locate because of the tall water tower, which provides visi-
tors and guests a panoramic view of the bays and Gulf of
Mexico. The resort was once the home of novelist Mary
Roberts Rinehart. Contemporary novelist Randy Wayne
White describes Cabbage Key as having "an oasis feel to
it, sitting out there all by itself, like it could have been
Abaco or Tangiers or Caicos, soaking up the sun through
the decades while travelers tromped up the shell path to
the old house on the mound."

































South Pine Island, looking northeast, St. James City
in foreground.


j t







Gaspar the Pirate:
Fact or Fiction?
Legend and myth
surround the name
and a claim that a
supposed pirate 'Jose
Gaspar" maintained a
lair in these waters
during the 18th and
early 19th centuries.
Some say the myths
were invented about
1900 by a fishing
guide, Juan Gomez,
to entertain customers.
Historians suspect the
name refers to a
'Friar Gaspar.' Boca
Gasparilla (Inlet)
appears on
a late 18th century
chart of the region.


7. Pine Island consists of three settlements. At the
north tip of the island is Bokeelia, on the south shore of
Charlotte Harbor; Pineland is to the south on the east
shore of Pine Island Sound; and St. James City at the
southern tip of the island abuts San Carlos Bay. Pineland
is home to the Randell Research Center devoted to
learning and teaching the archaeology, history, and ecol-
ogy of Southwest Florida- owes this distinction in part
to Calusa Indian shell mounds or middens (ancient In-
dian garbage dumps) located along the island's shore over-
looking Pine Island Sound. There are remnants of an ab-
original canoe canal, dug by the Calusa or their ances-
tors, probably 500 to 1,000 years ago. The "haul-over
canal had its western terminus at Pineland and extended
eastward to Matlacha Pass, ending at Indian Field. In
1912, when Army Engineers visited the region, Pineland
town consisted of a post office and three or four houses,
but no streets or roads. The early 20th century settlement
developed from turpentine stills and sawmills on north
Pine Island. Today, all three communities provide recre-
ational, sport fishing, eco-tourism, agricultural, and resi-
dential services.


8. North Captiva and Captiva Islands were one is-
land prior to the 1921 hurricane and the creation of Red-
fish Pass. Major storms in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s over-
topped the low, narrow southern end of North Captiva.
Safety Harbor, the small embayment inside Captiva Pass,
was a fish camp during the pre-development period. A
surge of vacation-home construction, beginning in the
1960s, along with finger-canal construction, has occurred
on North Captiva Island. The State of Florida in 1975
acquired about half of the island, which has been desig-
nated a Barrier Island Preserve. South Seas, a destination
marina and golfing resort, is at the north end of Captiva
Island. The town of Captiva is at the center, adjacent to
Roosevelt Channel, a present-day popular anchorage and
relict inlet channel to Blind Pass. It is hard to imagine
that the town claimed only 45 inhabitants just prior to
World War II.


Safety Harbor on North Captiva Island, looking south,
towards Redfish Pass in midground.


87







9. Sanibel Island, "...the piece of coast that trends E
and W, is the beach of an island called Sanybel, this place
is further remarkable for a great number of pine-trees with-
out tops standing at the bottom of the bay (San Carlos
Bay), there is no place like to it, in the whole extent of
this coast" (from the sailing directions for the DryTortugas
to Pensacola, Bernard Romans, 1775). An attempt at es-
tablishing an agricultural colony failed in the early 19th
century. The first wave of settlement occurred in the late
1880s, when the federal government opened the island
to homesteading. Sanibel's lighthouse at Point Ybel be-
_'.1in ,p ,ri. I..Ini in I !,.,i l K I_;I 1 -11 I il, *.. J. ip-
mI nr ,i ii -I.. .. r. t ,iin- .in ind l&-, -_.in B hl ,i ..n F!'[ .
Ibnd.d in I'l"


88
The island's fame developed as a world-class paradise
for shelling and wildlife observation during the early 20th
century. Writers and artists came for the isolation and
quiet beauty. In 1939, Sanibel's population was 100, and
Wulfert had 10 residents. A concrete structure replaced
the Blind Pass Bridge in 1954. (The pass closed in the
early 1990s). But it was the Sanibel Causeway, built in
1963, that provided direct road access to the mainland
and opened the island to a development boom. A sub-
stantial, 4,975-acre, undeveloped area, mainly along the
northern Pine Island Sound side, has been retained as
the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
Today, Sanibel has an annual population of more than
5,800 people which swells to more than 20,000 during
the peak tourism season.


Pass


\
0 1


A4

V


Boca Grande Pass during tarpon season with boats
fishing along edge of channel with 50 foot depth
range, view north with Gasparilla Sound on right.


Charlotte Harbor


Bokeelia



i '
^ 1


Useppa
t Island




Cabbage
Key


North Captiva Island in foreground, Captiva
and Sanibel Islands in distance, looking
southeast, Pine Island Sound on left and
Gulf of Mexico on right.


/Pi
Pineland


Bayou


Port
-Boca
Grande


Boca
Grande


.










Pine-
Island
Center


Pine
Island
Sound


COIITEMlPORARY


Land Use. Land Cover
Urban & Built-Up
Agriculture
Shrub, Brushland. Rangeland
SUpland Forest
Water
Wetlands
Mangrove
Barren Land


VJ.N. "Ding" Darling
National Wildlife
\ Refuge


Saint
James
City
San Carlos Bay

pe g

Tarpon
Bay


Miles 4.1


Map 1-B.
Contemporary conditions along the barrier islands.


Sanibel Island in foreground, looking north across San
Carlos Bay towards St. James City (south Pine Island)
and Cape Coral.


89


Captiva
Pass


Safety
Harbor


Redfish


South
- Seas
Resort


Roosevelt


*Wulfert


Blind'
Pass


York
Island


Point
Ybel






90


10. El Jobean was named after Joel Bean, a Boston
lawyer, who in 1924 filed a town plan consisting of six
wards, each with its own civic center bordering a circular
plaza. Construction stopped with the stock market crash
of 1929, and only a remnant of El Jobean remains today.
Much of the subdivision is now within the Riverwood
Development of Regional Impact.

11. Charlotte Harbor (Town), settled in 1862, first
called Live Oak Point and later Hickory Bluff, was the
site of a cattle dock built to ship beef, first to the Confed-
eracy, and later to Cuba. The bluff was leveled for build-
ing lots during the land boom period of the 1920s.


12. Peace River, or Peas Creek on pre-development
maps, is named for black-eyed peas, which grew in
the region.

13. Punta Gorda became an important shipping hub
in 1886 with the arrival of the Florida Southern Railroad
and the telegraph. An ice factory built in 1893 trans-
formed the fishing industry in the harbor by making the
shipment of fresh fish possible. Small stilt fish houses and
houseboats, called lighters, were set up throughout Char-
lotte Harbor, managed by fish companies which oper-
ated "run boats" that delivered ice and supplies to the
outlying fishermen and picked up the catch for transport
back to Punta Gorda. The salt fisheries that operated in
the harbor throughout the early pre-development period
were absorbed by this new enterprise.


Ir'Piney
Peas Creek Point
Hickory Live 1
Bluff Oak
Point m


4

4


Charlotte Harbor


Key
Point


F 1- Purnra Gord.i Isles r.. ., an upscale residential
i. u r..I h.nr .nr.I...-i r, v u.. .i.I- brushland, andrange-
I n11.. I rl. pi.-..l .p.nn.1'-r period, where cattle


I 1 Burnt Siore ,..n rl'. ir JI.ore of Charlotte Har-
-I. I rir .liin p,..r rl. I rl ir.inoles burned in 1845.
I. -.1 r, Dil, rnr r i. .F. I 1.1n 1 1ni..l Country Club is a desti-
it.i i..n'I-- *.I .. r r.pl.. k uit', r. i .- 400-plus-slip (anddry-
ri Fi I i i. i ..I It 1 .1.. urid tennis courts, with
,:..n.. ,il.. ini.,n in .. p 1i. in l.- am ily homes.


I


Myakka
River


ZA





Burnt X
Store15




16 Fishcerinan kev r rI' I,,. i.1 .. slin i l ilos Bayand
11I.. ..rl' i t rl', ... l i rcl'i .. *- .rrl,..J .,.,lrng the early
I .I nI -I.. l 'i ,rl , r.r, I-., f ii. I,rm .,n -. I',,, .r,.d and salted
h.-I rl'i.r, I. . i', .nip .nr r. I I- ,., n I t ival sortie in
rl r I-, ,.,n I-I F ..n dr. n. .. ..., [ '- I .r - I S. Schooner
S. In -1 Fi- 'I mi i n i', t, i rrl i ni, at with nine
rl i ,r i rl inF-l... jt.I. l, 1 C.1 I r I u.. in .rn, pum pkins
in. n Il..n. I-, ind ,1 ,, r r -, ,, F. l, I-, .d touringg salt




Punt. R.issai .. .1 ir. *. .l. pn, inr in the days
I-,.t, -..r r. I. hi i. r, -... p I i- .1 i*,-, rl, I t enabled it
r, L.,n,:r. rl nI i, r 1 1 -. l ...r n, rir n..l pping point
h .r r'i i .irlv .. r FI. r-i] n. i. ,n- F.-rr L[,,.I lnywas garri-
-..ni.l I.ir IIn I1 .I. IIin rii I n IiIn .1. rs, but was
S., -rr.. ', lI., ,ini, iI, I :rI ..I-.1_ r IN l The Interna-
r., n 11 1,:-, T L L- ipl G ..n, pi -,, .r ,n, Union) es-
4 r il-, ,i... I'i. i1, ru .n r i n ..I connecting
S-^H I-i C,.ii I I-,' rn. rl'I, 'nirin d ir n i r' mi-,l. and sailing
S1- .... - r..r pp.d u 'i.,nr i 1 ii i- ri I. .i.:, irle, brought
MCh a h-..n rlr ...i '.l...I r rIK Fl..i I pnin,, li i .r the Cuban
Hieo( q c It s u 1 -' iI..r L[ii.Irin rI I 1 p .1 estimated
SI .. [ 1. ,, k.Ipp,. ..I r .. l.,nr Rassa, and
t. I ni n r ,, ,, rl drive, were
-oD ,l-.iI.r..I Id.. I .l Il r. iI.cmI. irI> r[ p to Havana
ow m rtl..,n 11 rM t [l c L r ,,., I-,t iid up to 10
"dS i< I, ..n -In TIK C .1-. n ,- Lttle market
'I ..', ipp i ...l in I '. I,.n rl',. C l-.m insurrec-
ri .. n., .n I IIn.l p In rI n.. I. anger needed
0-
IIIpIISI&IIIII I, .d





Land Use/Land Cover
Urban & Built-Up
Agriculture PRE-DEVELOPMENT
Shrub, Brushland. Rangeland SwordPRE-DEVELOPMENT
- Upland Forest Point
Water or
SWetlands Cape
Blanco t
Mangrove
Barren Land
Kitchell's
Big Key
2.0 0 2.0 4.0 Island

Miles
N 17 Punta
A Rasa
Fisherman-rp' 16 Ra
E Key
San Carlos
y Bay
S
Map 1 -C.
Pre-developmenl Peace River Mallacha conditions.

91






I


1S MNulaI.a ha I ,ir.. II, ', k i I llir, i. joining
i l !i"r L .. 1' .1. .l p ... li' I. co-tour-
i .ir. p..- t 'iin ,r I- .I .. r rl'. n's loca-
ri.. I. irlI' n I rl ,rl : r'i I, . irc d on the
J.'r .-1 .. Li L .1 Lir P rl, .1 i. J r II is today
ni .. rl ,. p. r r. I. l'i rl', i l '1.. p .pI


CONTEMPORARY


Indian
Field



I0''
R0


Isla
Cent




0-




Land Use/Land Cover
Urban & Built-Up
Agriculture
Shrub, Brushland. Rangeland
SUpland Forest
Water
SWetlands
Mangrove
Barren Land

2.0 0 2.0 4.

Miles


tlacha


-O
tp
'IP


tint
J es


Sword-"
Point
Merwin
Key Big
b, Island
Fisherman
Key
San Pu
Carlos
Bay


Map 1-D.
Comlemporary Peace River Mallacha conditions.


93






94


19. Ft. Myers served as an army supply depot during
the Seminole and Civil Wars. By 1879, the town had a
population of 150 and included four stores that supplied
goods and medicines to the sparse population of the
Caloosahatchee Valley. The town's population grew to 349
by 1885. The following year Ft. Myers became the seat of
newly formed Lee County. The railroad arrived in 1904,
and later a large tourist trade developed. The lower
Caloosahatchee attracted hundreds of fishermen and
sportsmen annually. Waterborne commerce steamers
and trading schooners declined in the face of compe-
tition by the railroad. Ft. Myers, during the 20th century
preceding World War II, became the distribution center
for a large and rapidly developing region, and its com-
merce increased accordingly.


The Ft. Myers waterfront today is undergoing a resur-
gence of development. Hotels, condominiums and single-
family homes line the riverfront east and west of down-
town proper. The downtown waterfront is the focus of a
redevelopment study that will blend the historic struc-
tures with new growth. There is thriving nightlife in the
core of the city today that city officials hope to spread
throughout the daytime hours. One element that should
spur downtown redevelopment was the creation in the
late 1990s of a terminal to allow daily high-speed boat
trips from the city to Key West. Operation of a high-speed
catamaran is expected to begin by 2003.


NShm Calooae-


h
-



PM "^b



itdpI-

*4-.~3


Hancock or
Yellow Fever
Creek


PRE-DEVELOPMENT


Glover's
Bight


r*-Jewfish
Creek
lona
Cove


Piney
Point


Nigger
Head


Red Fish
Point


M Urban & Built-Up
Agriculture
Shrub. Brushland, Rangeland
yi Upland Forest
tyoming
Creek Water
SWetlands
Mangrove
Barren Land


1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Map 1-F. Miles
Pre-development Caloosahatchee conditions.


Marsh
Point


Creek


Land Use/Land Cover


Punta
Blanca
Creek
A'


VIMWF.







20. Little Shell Island, at the mouth of the
Caloosahatchee, provided a place for boaters to go for
great hamburgers during the 1950s. Today, the burgers
are gone and the island is mostly deserted except for week-
end boaters.

21. Ft. Myers Yacht Basin and Waterfront Park was
built in 1937 as a WPA (Works Progress Administra-
tion) project, the New Deal relief and recovery program
of the Depression that employed tens of thousands of
people on public works projects, such as building roads,
bridges, and parks.


22. Ft. Myers (downtown) Bridge The first bridge
across the Caloosahatchee was a wooden structure built
in 1924 that burned in the early 1940s. The bridge crossed
the river upstream of the present day Edison Bridge (Busi-
ness 41) and all that remains of the wooden bridge is Old
Bridge Park


23. Midpoint Bridge This span opened to vehicular
traffic in October 1997. It is a four-lane facility with a
55-foot clearance for boats at the center of the channel.
Construction of the bridge was first discussed in the
1960s; the issue came before the Lee County Board of
County Commissioners in 1975 and was defeated by a
3-2 vote. It eventually was constructed.

24. Cape Coral Bridge A two-lane bridge first opened
to vehicular traffic in 1964. A twin span was added in
1989, creating a total of four lanes of traffic. The
bridge has a clearance for vessels of 55 feet at the cen-
ter of the channel.


r h- - .


Beautiful
Island Ml


Land Use/Land Cover

Urban & Built-Up
SAgriculture
Shrub. Brushland. Rangeland
SUpland Forest
Water
SWetlands
Mangrove
Barren Land

N


s E


1.0 0 1.0 2.0

Miles





Cattle
Dock
Dockint Redfish
Poi nt- Point


Creek


'Billy
Creek


R sKey
eek



CONTEMPORARY


Shell
Island


Map 1-F.
Contemporary Caloosahatchee conditions.


95






96


25. Matanzas (Pass), from the Spanish word for
"slaughter," probably commemorates the 1566 death of
Carlos, Chief of the Calusa Indians, at the hands of a
Spanish expedition under Pedro Menendez. This Indian
chief undoubtedly lent his name to Big and Little Carlos
Passes and Carlos Island.


~F~t


Estero
Bay


Black


Pass


a


an



d,

Ol Epte


Cts-
COr


4.crl


Pass


Pass


26. Ft. Myers Beach (Estero Island), called Crescent
Beach in earlier times, was homesteaded in the 1890s.
During those years, before road and bridge linked the is-
land to the mainland, most supplies reached Estero Is-
land by a boat operated by the Koreshan Unity (a com-
munal pioneer society), which made regular trips from
Ft. Myers to Estero. The hurricane of September 1926
destroyed a wooden bridge connecting Estero and San
Carlos Islands. A swing bridge replaced it in 1928 and
functioned until 1979, when the
"Sky Bridge" was built. The first
"finger-island" canals on Ft.
Myers Beach were dredged in
1924, and by 1934, a large num-
ber of canal lots had been dredged
and filled, facing Matanzas Pass,
and sold for $35 each. By 1940,
the island's population was 473.
The pace of development accel-
erated after World War II, spurred
by tourism and a growing demand
f r for permanent waterfront living.
r There were more than 700 island
residents in 1950, and the popu-
lation jumped to 2,500 by 1960.
Abridge spanning Big Carlos Pass
and a causeway running from the
south end of Estero Island to
Bonita Beach were built in 1965.
Today, Ft. Myers Beach is an in-
corporated town with an annual
population of 14,000 which
doubles during the winter tourist
season.

27. San Carlos Island devel-
oped into one of the largest
shrimp ports in the United States
in 1950 with the discovery of
"pink gold" in the Dry Tortugas,
off Key West. As these beds be-
came depleted, other shrimp
Auger grounds were discovered off
Hole Sanibel in the Gulf and as far away
as Campeche, Mexico. During the
0 Surveyor's peak production in 1996, 4.2 mil-
Creek lion pounds of heads-off shrimp
were unloaded at San Carlos Is-
land. Landings fell the next year
The to 2.7 million pounds, but still
Corkscrew produced a dockside value of al-
S most $14 million. It has been es-
timated that the shrimping indus-
try on the island, on average, gen-
erates an economic base of more
than $21 million and employs
600 people. However, the vagar-
ies of the industry may cause
iggins those figures to change dramati-
Pass
cally from year to year.


Map 1-G.
Pre-development Estero Bay conditions.


San
Carlos,
Bay


PRE-DEVELOPMENT


W


I \
i


,yf *







28. Lovers Key, once an offshore shoal, owes its emer-
gence and growth to Hurricane Donna, the 1960 storm
that devastated the Southwest Florida coast. Floyd Lucky,
a local developer, laid claim to the newly formed island
and began building and dredging. Wetland and bay bot-
tom habitats were altered to uplands. The state purchased
the island in 1983 and merged it with its acquisition
of county-owned lands on Black Island, Long Key, and
Inner Key in 1996 to create the Lovers Key State Park,
a multi-use marine recreation area.


Ten-Mi


Estero to
I Bay
Coon 31
ey 31

Mound
s Key
V 29
29 Coconut
Big Carlos Black
Pass Island
Lovers Long Spring
Key Key Creek ,
Inner New Big
Key Pass-. ( Hickory ft


9. Black Island, a former Koreshan homesite and fish
p where fishermen and their families lived from the
of the century until the 1950s, is now part of the
ers Key State Park. Koreshan was a religious sect
ded by Dr. Cyrus Teed. Koreshans believed the world
round, but concave rather than convex. The church
wers also adhered to strict rules of celibacy and, by
*nd of World War II, the religion was mostly extinct.

30. Estero, on the banks of the
Estero River, was founded in 1894
by the Koreshan Unity. When the
Army Engineers conducted a river
survey in 1903, about 500 persons
lived in the community and its vi-
cinity. The Army Engineers re-
ported that the town, incorpo-
rated by the Koreshans on a tract
of 70,000 acres, included a post
office, small store, machine shop
and "...one of the largest print-
ing establishments in Florida."
The religion published its beliefs
in "The Flaming Sword," a reli-
gious magazine, "The American
Eagle," a newspaper, and in
Koresh's private writings pub-
lished through Guiding Star Pub-
lishing House. The Unity oper-
ated a large orange grove (185
acres) nine miles above the mouth
of the river; they also colonized
Mound Key and Black Island.
Membership declined through the
early 20th century and the land
was deeded to the state in 1961.
It is now the Koreshan State His-
toric Site.

31. Mound Key, almost 30 feet
in height, owes its elevation to the
thousands ofyears of shelling and
building of middens by the Calusa
and their predecessors. Mound
Key is believed by researchers to
be Carlos, the town where King
Carlos of the Calusas met with
Spanish Governor Pedro
Menendez in 1566. Cuban fish-
ermen settled on Mound Key in
Imperial the 1800s, and by the early
River 1900s the island was home to
15 members of the Koreshan Unity.
The Koreshans deeded Mound
Key to the state in 1961 to pre-
serve the island's historic and ar-
ay chaeological character.

32. Wiggins Pass is named for
Joe Wiggins, who homesteaded
and operated a trading post in
Coc ee the area. Just south of the pass
is the Delnor Wiggins Pass State
cAn Recreation Area.


Map 1-G.
Contemporary Estero Bay conditions.


97


CONTEMPORARY















































Tarpor
Bay
B 4.-Marc
Big Villag
Marco
Pass f/


Caxambas
Pass


C lam I d.... r... ,: ,,-, -.,, ... ......11..
foreg ...i'- I... .1.. .. r rl r.. .
trend r' . r .. r ,._i i' -_ i I o1 ... o- ... T. I, i
runni,, ,.., rl,- .,.rl,


98



Land Use Land Cover
Urban & Built-Up
Agriculture
Shrub, Brushland, Rangeland
Upland Forest
Water
Wetlands
Mangrove
Barren Land

N


W ^E

S
1.0 0 1.0 2.0

p1 Miles

33. Naples i, rlI ., F-.a Calusa settlement and haul-
,r :e il n11 i .. Ir n mi.-long, deep canoe passageway
T-n hii rhl C,.ll it k.\ii, ro Naples Bay. The earliest set-
rki rl crc qi. uircr. i., c iame to the area in the 1870s.
\\ irh rlhe .ir i l\.1, rlt i.ilroad at Punta Gorda and later
c:..rcn. .n r., Fr MlIcrs. Naples, by the turn of the cen-
i.ii, i.Irr.r. r d ini, r .. in,_' numbers of tourists, principally
S sp .rr'l mcn. ',i h l, ihcld ind hunted during the winter sea-
1n mnl nIi ,. r!ir"- r'.ldence aboard yachts or at local
hi r.!. N.apl. r.rain. irt small-town ambiance until the
II I:, '. .. -- I ir, j, dredge-and-fill developments
a : ,rar~l .1 ,J i. *~t i'- r ,ays and waterfront communi-
r,. rI 'Ir Ihn,i.l rl, I _, i..ron River and Naples Bay.

34 Gordon Pass is named for Roger Gordon,
o I-.... p, ir .l i 'Ih-ng camp there in the 1870s.
e






PRE-DEVELOPMENT


I ("oGGoodlandn-




Bay
Horr
Island
Coone
SKey


Blind
Pass Morga Map 1-I.
Bay Pre-development
Organs Naples Marco Island conditions.
Morgan's
Pass Cape
Romano




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