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CITATION SEARCH MAP IMAGE ZOOMABLE
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
UNITED STATES DWARTINT OFT HE ItERIOR
MAP SEPURS NO. so GBOLOGKWALSUJRVEY
FLOU DA DPARUWM OF NA1UWRAL RRWI*
pAM by MIM OUF GBOWGY
LAND USE IN THE BIG CYPRESS AREA,
The Big Cypress is a loosely defined but recognized physiographi
province in southern Florida (Davis, 1943, Fig. 1) southwest of Lak
Okeechobee. It is a hydrologic unit of 2,450 square miles of fla
swampy area that merges into a coastal-marsh and estuaries
environment. The land surface slopes gently to the south and
characterized by an intricate mosaic of marshes and lowland forest
(US. Department of Interior, 1969). The Big Cypress includes most o
Collier County. and small parts of Broward, Dade, Hendry, and Monro
The Big Cypress has been divided by Klein and others (1970, fig. 1
into subareas A, B, and C, as shown on the map. The subareas has
reasonably distinct internal drainage determined largely by topography
configuration and man made drainage. These man made water-contr
measures generally establish patterns for urbanization. Subarea ,
comprises 450 square miles, about one fifth the total area of the Bi
Cypress. It lies northeast of a low ridge, and drains southeastwan
through a 7.1-mile gap in Levee 28, into Conservation Area 3A of th
Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District. Southeastwar
flow is assured by the Levee 28 tieback levee and canal as well as by th
Levee 28 interceptor canal This levee system along the wester
boundary of Conservation Area 3A, was completed during th
Subarea B includes 550 square miles at the west edge of th
watershed. It is characterized by an extensive system of canals thl
drain southward and westward into estuaries along the Gulf Coas
Residential development has accompanied the completion of sever
phases of this drainage network.
Subarea C occupies 1,450 square miles in the central part of the B
Cypress and drains southward naturally toward the Everglades Nation
Park. At the west edge, drainage is aided by the Barron River an
Turner River Canals (Klein, 1970).
Expanded land development in southern Florida usually begins wit
the construction of canals to drain swampy lands and to assu
protection from high water during the rainy season (Klein, 1970). A
area such as the Big Cypress cannot be urbanized until water-contr
measures are begun. Thus, a description of the canal network an
drainage is important in any discussion of land use because water,
principal resource of the Big Cypress, influences the pattern of lan
HISTORY OF DEVELOPMENT
Development of the Big Cypress started in 1926 with the building 4
the Barron River Canal. It continued in 1928 with the excavation of tl
Tamiami Canal. The canals were the sources of fill for State Road 2
and U.S. Highway 41, respectively. In all, 49 bridges distribute flow
the west part of Everglades National Park along the 37-mile reach of tl
Tamiami Canal between 40-mile Bend and State Road 29. The Turn
River Canal was completed during the late 1950's and served as tl
source of fill for State Road 840A. The Turner River and Barron Riv
Canals, constitute the only drainage facilities in all of subarea C. TI
Everglades Parkway, (commonly called Alligator Alley) completed
1967, runs westward from the Fort Lauderdale area to Naple
Numerous bridges along the parkway permit flow of water southwa
from the canal immediately north of the road.
Initially, land use along most of these canals was primary
agriculture. Later, small residential areas appeared. The mo
significant area of development has been in subarea B. Residential lan
use is expected to increase substantially in that area in the near futum
RESIDENTIAL AND PROPOSED
The rapid population influx to the Big Cypress area has resulted in
sharp increase in the demand for residential housing. The population
Collier County, which includes more than Big Cypress, increased fro
almost 16,000 to slightly more than 38,000 in the last decade. Th
population in the vicinity of Naples, the only major urban sector in t
Big Cypress, increased from about 9,000 in 1960 to almost 27,000
1970. The rapid increase in the number of retirement communities
Florida is expected to accelerate the growth of this area. Areas on t
map shown as residential include all urban, suburban, sm
communities (incorporated and unincorporated), and industrial are
that could be delineated from all photographs. Where interpretation
was questionable the areas involved were checked from a helicopter
automobile. Although most of the city of Naples is immediately outsi
the Big Cypress, suburban expansion has moved east from Naples in
subarea B. Water in the west part of the watershed recharges t
shallow aquifer that is the source of water for the city of Naples an
the Golden Gate Estates (Freiberger, 1972).
Land development for housing in subarea B began in 1960's in t
188-square-mile Golden Gate Estates, east of Naples. Drainage cam
notably the Golden Gate Canal and the Cocohatchee River Canal, wi
dug to lower the water levels in the west part of the Estates. Before t
canals were built, most of that area was inundated each year during t
rainy season. Only one tract significant in size, the unincorporated
town of Golden Gate, has been urbanized in the west part of I
Estates. Residential construction is underway, however, in several oti
The Fahka Union Canal system, began in 1968 and near complete
in 1971, was constructed to lower water levels in the south part
Golden Gate Estates. Additional secondary canals may be needed
this region as residential construction proceeds, to further ass
protection of these lands against high water levels. Places where ca
networks have been completed and those already proposed or plati
for development indicate that urbanization can be expected ove
rather extensive part of subarea B in the near future.
The Isles of Capri and Marco Island, south of Naples,
predominantly residential, and both have experienced growth
population in recent years. Most of the expected development will tl
place on land that will be formed by filling in coastal marshlands.
The predominantly residential town of Immokalee is in 1
northwest part of subarea C in north Collier County. T
unincorporated community is one of the centers of agricultural active
of the county and of southwest Florida. Immokalee and 1
surrounding area have grown moderately in the past decade. Fut
growth is expected to stem principally from agricultural activities.
large areas of residential development are expected in the vicinity
Immokaloe from an examination of aerial photographs or from limi
Everglades City, which is incorporated, and Chokoloskee, whicl
unincorporated, are about 35 miles southeast of Naples, at the term
of State Road 29. Both communities are predominantly resident
Chokoloskee, an island, is connected to the mainland at Everglades C
by a causeway. The island, in Everglades National Park, is consider
"hole in the doughnut." The expression "hole in the doughnut" rel
to privately owned land surrounded by publicly owned land. The to
population of the two towns is about one thousand.
Two small tracts in the vicinity of Ochopee, several miles north
of Everglades City and adjacent to U.S. Highway 41, are proposed
residential development. The remainder of subarea C shows no signs
planned residential construction. Other minor residential tracts wit
the Big Cypress are scattered; they include the Indian community in
Big Cypress Federal Seminole Indian Reservation in subarea A.
Of the two land-use categories that have been discussed thus
areas already developed for residential use comprise 25 square mi
about 1 percent, and areas depicted as proposed for residen
development make up 180 square miles, about 7 percent, of the to
land area of the Big Cypress.
Water supplies for Naples, East Naples, Immokalee, and Golden G
are obtained near each community and are adequate to meet short-te
future demands. In view of the expected residential expansion east
from Naples, further gulf coastal urbanization, and the urbanization
the large interior tracts, future water-supply sources will probably
established in the interior of the Big Cypress. Early establishment
water conservation would insure protection of vital water resour
against overdrainage and pollution. Hydrotgic date not presented
this report indicate that water resources ia te itoleor are adequate
serve the future demands of the wmtem Ml Cypges area (McC
c Water supplies for such offshore developments as Marco Island or
e Isles of Capri are obtained on the mainland near U.S. Highway 41, 6 to
it 8 miles to the north. Any accelerated growth near these communities
e may necessitate establishment of a new source of water north of U.S.
is Highway 41. Everglades City presently is served by wells, which in the
s. future may need to be supplemented from another source.
AGRICULTURAL LAND USE
e The areas designated as agricultural lands on the map, probably do
ic not include all the acreage considered as farmland. The map, instead,
of shows those tracts that were distinguishable as agricultural lands from
A the aerial photographs by such features as fence lines, cultivated fields,
ig and other similar and recognizable features. The total area depicted as
1. agricultural land in this report is about 200 square miles, or about 8
e percent of the Big Cypress. The agricultural areas within the Indian
d Reservation and the Sunniland oil field are included.
he Much of the north part of the Big Cypress is used for agricultural
in purposes. The total acreage producing crops has not changed much in
be the past 10 years. However, the income derived from products raised
there has increased markedly in that time. Many tracts are worked for a
e few years, then converted to pasture. These tracts, for this report, are
at considered as agricultural.
t. Several other areas of significant agricultural activity are shown near
al Naples and along parts of US. Highway 41 and State Road 29. The
tracts range in size from a few acres to several thousand acres.
ig The two main agricultural activities in the Big Cypress are truck
ml farming and cattle production. The major crops are peppers, tomatoes,
nd cucumbers, and watermelons. Trends seem to indicate that in the near
future additional land will be utilized for citrus production and cattle
th raising (oral common., Don Lander, Collier County Agricultural Agent).
re To maintain the present production and meet the increasing demand,
n additional farmland would be needed. The additional land would have
ol to be cleared and drained. In many places water is controlled by diking
ad fields and pumping excess water from the diked enclosure. During the
a dry season, irrigation water is pumped from wells penetrating the
id shallow aquifer. Wells range in depth from about 30 feet to more than
PARKS AND RESERVATIONS
of The northwest part of the Everglades National Park is within the Big
he Cypress. This part of the park includes a rather large segment of shallow
29 estuaries vital to its ecosystem and to the ecosystem of subarea C. Little
to development of subarea C has occurred and little further development
he is expected. In 1966, the developers of Golden Gate Estates acquired a
er 105-square-mile tract of land immediately west of State Road 29 and
he south of the Everglades Parkway. It includes all of the Fakahatchee
er Strand which was found to be of unique and national significance as a
se natural resource by the National Park Service. The Fakahatchee Strand
in is designated as a Registered National Landmark and is being considered
s. for acquisition as a State Park. The Strand has not been developed.
ad Collier Seminole State Park lies within the Big Cypress. About
100,000 persons visit the Park annually. Part of the National Audubon
ly Society Bird Rookery, commonly called Corkscrew Sanctuary, is also
st inside the Big Cypress. The National Audubon Society has recently
ad acquired another tract several miles south of Naples. The preserve is
e. now called Rookery Bay Sanctuary.
Nearly all the Big Cypress Federal Seminole Indian Reservation and
part of the Florida State Indian Reservation lie within subarea A. The
Big Cypress Reservation is considered the Seminole Indian's home. The
Florida State Indian Reservation was established as a home for the
a Miccosukee Tribe. Many of the Miccosukees have settled among the
of Seminoles, and many live in small villages along US. Highway 41.
m Oil was discovered near Sunniland in 1943. The discovery stimulated
he additional drilling, and a producing oil field covering several square
he miles now exists in the vicinity of Sunniland. One other producing oil
in well was drilled several miles southeast of Lake Trafford. Additional
in drilling in that area is not expected (Oral common., W.R. Oglesby,
the Florida Geol. Survey).
all A 39-square-mile tract owned by the Dade County Port Authority,
as intended for a commercial jetport, has received considerable national
on attention. At present, one runway is operational for training purposes.
or A recent agreement between the U.S. Departments of Interior and
de Transportation, the State of Florida, and Dade County has apparently
to reduced pressures for further land development at the jetport site and
he the east part of subarea C, at least temporarily (Klein, 1970).
ls, About 84 percent of the Big Cypress is undeveloped. This land is
ere characterized by numerous strands and sloughs. It is best described as
the an intricate mosaic of marsh and lowland forest types a wilderness of
the sloughs, tree islands, and bay and cypress heads.
ed Large tracts are being considered for government purchase to insure
the protection of these unique areas. The areas are unique, in part, because
her no other area in south Florida contains the large cypress strands found
there. Other plants, for example several species of orchids, are found
on exclusively in the Big Cypress.
in SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
eal Growth is extensive in and around the Big Cypress watershed. The
,led population of subarea B is increasing rapidly. Consequently,
r a considerable pressure to develop land for residential and agricultural use
is being felt. Subarea B has been changed in recent years by excavation
are of canals to drain land for development. Alteration of runoff rates and
n drainage patterns affect the ecosystems of the area. Proper management
ake of water resources, however, can minimize adverse effects.
Except for the undeveloped areas, the land in subarea A is used
the almost entirely for farming and cattle production. There is no evidence
his that land-use patterns in subarea A will change in the near future.
vity Land in the north part of subarea C is utilized primarily for
the agricultural activities. The south part of subarea C, including the
rea proposed jetport site, is virtually undeveloped and is not presently
No subject to pressures for development.
of In conclusion, land use in the Big Cypress plays a key role in: 1.) the
ted environment and ecosystem of the northwest part of Everglades
National Park; 2.) the future water availability for the rapidly
Sis expanding Gulf Coast communities; 3.) the unique ecosystem in the Big
nus Cypress; and 4.) the marine resources of dependent estuaries.
fen Davis, J.H, Jr.
otl 1943 The natural features of southern Florida: Florida GeoL.
Survey BulL 25.
cast Freiberger, HJ.
for 1972 Streamflow variation and distribution in the Big Cypress
a of watershed during wet and dry periods: Florida Dept. of
thin Nat. Resources Map Series No.45.
the Klein, H.
1970 (and Schneider, WJ., McPherson, B.F. and Buchanan, TJ.)
far, Some hydrologic and biologic aspects of the Big Cypress
les, Swamp area: U.S. Geol. Survey open-file report, 94 p.
tial McCoy. Jack
Oral 1972 Hydrology of Western Collier County, Florida: Bur. Geol.
Florida Dept. Nat. Resources, Rept. Inv. No. 63 (In press).
ate U.S. Dept. of Interior
orm 1969 Environmental impact of the Big Cypress Swamp Jetport
ard (Leopold Report): 155 p.
be D meN oNatMral Resourees
in Tils pablic domunt was geomelp lat a
Sto co t of $1487J0 or a per copy coat d
oy, 9 the purpose of diseemin data
for leditnese pannlg ___
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
ia coopeton with
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
DIVISION OF INTERIOR RESOURCES
BUREAU OF GEOLOGY
S AUDUBON IC i
SLEE CO 0
S COLLIER CO
26-15' OIL FIELD
r._ BIG CYPRESS FEDERAL F
*N R C. SEMINOLE INDIAN RESERVATION
4 .i.NDRY INDIAN
COLLIER CO. RESERVATION
SGOLDE 4 GATE 0EVER GLADES PARKWAY
ROOKERY BAY .
SLDRlVE L-28 INTERCEPTOR S
ISLES OF CAPR SEMNOL. C ANALE
SI i II, ,
O Cs C AP I II COLLIER CO. A
Agricultural EPA TI saa AB
SEIsE LeD reservations .
Aerial photography, December 1969. Drainage boundaries and land-use designations from a mosaic of C-7
more than 580 black and white infrared photographs at a scale of 1:30,000. The mosaic wasensa a s of 1 0 "( YIs"l\ ot:^ ,.t
9\ MO M E
P MKOL s\.
FLORIDA GEOLOGIC SURVEY MAP SER
I I I I
.;`.. 3 1