Title: Development and Management of Land/Water Resources: The Everglades, Agriculture, and South Florida
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Title: Development and Management of Land/Water Resources: The Everglades, Agriculture, and South Florida
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Language: English
Publisher: Journal of American Water Resources Association
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Development and Management of Land/Water Resources: The Everglades, Agriculture, and South Florida, April 1998, Vol 34 No. 2
General Note: Box 10, Folder 10 ( SF Water Resources Historical Collection - 1988 ), Item 4
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Full Text




D. L. Anderson and P. C. Rosendahl2

ABSTRACT: South Florida and the Everglades have been under
intensive development since 1850 by Federal and State govern-
ments who encouraged and financed extensive drainage and
hydraulic changes, primarily for agricultural settlement. Agricul-
tural development of the sugar industry in the northern Everglades
adjacent to Lake Okeechobee rapidly progressed only after the
1900s. Political and resource management conflicts have arisen
because policies which once favored development are now being
reversed by policies and regulation efforts to restore and conserve
natural ecosystems. Currently, the environmental and ecological
impacts of agricultural land use adjacent to natural wetlands of the
Everglades are being assessed. The objectives of this paper are:
(1) to outline the historical development of south Florida and the
sugar industry, (2) to relate this history to political and manage-
ment policy changes occurring as it pertains to ecosystem restora-
tion and the multiuser competition for water/land resources, andd rs an
(3) to propose how integrated resource management might be uti-
lized for a sustainable Everglades and south Florida. This paper
outlines the historical paradox of urban settlement, land develop-
ment, and agricultural production, with efforts in the recent decade
to acquire, manage, and preserve land and water resources for nat-
ural areas conservation. Only though the use of integrated resource
management will the defined resource conflicts be mediated.
(KEY TERMS: environmental protection/policy; Everglades Agri-
cultural Area (EAA); Everglades National Park (ENP); Florida
sugar industry; land acquisition; population growth; surface/ground
waters; sustainable agriculture; wetlands.)


The development of south Florida evolved from
over 140 years of Federal and State policies which
actively promoted the utilization of land and water
resources for agriculture, urban growth, industry, and
recreation. Within the last decade, there has there
been a reverse in policies towards restoration and
conservation, and substantial areas of south Florida

have been acquired for both ecosystem restoration
(i.e., tidal and freshwater wetlands, upland land-
scapes, etc.) and urban development. Today, sugar-
cane farming in the upper Everglades conflicts with
environmental goals which include the restoration
of natural ecosystem-linked landscapes from the
upper Kissimmee River basin to Florida Bay (Figures
1 and 2) for purposes of improving water quality and
restoring historical flows through these landscapes.
By understanding historical changes made in the
physical landscape and current changes in resource
management policies, the future position of agricul-
ture and other users may be more rationally under-
stood. The objectives of this paper are (1) to outline
the historical development of south Florida and the
sugar industry, (2) to relate this history to political
and management policy changes occurring as it per-
tains to ecosystem restoration and the multiuser com-
petition for water/ land resources, and (3) to propose
how integrated resource management might be uti-
lized for a sustainable Everglades and south Florida.


Little attempt was made to penetrate the interior
of south Florida by early Spanish, French, and
English explorers and colonial settlers before the
1800s. When Florida was acquired by the U.S. in 1821
from the Spanish, little was known about the interior
resources until troops entered the region during
the Seminole Indian War of 1835-1842. During this

IPaper No. 97045 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association. Discussions are open until December 1, 1998. (Contri-
bution from the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Journal Series No. R-05449.)
2Respectively, Professor, Everglades Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Belle Glade, Florida 33430-8003; and Vice
President of Environmental Relations, Florida Crystal Corp., Palm Beach, Florida 33480 (E-Mail/Anderson: dlan@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu).



Anderson and Rosendahl

Figure 1. Landsat Satellite Mosaic Image of Central and South Florida Region
(courtesy South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, Florida).

period, urban and agricultural development was
encouraged by the Federal government. Drainage of
the Everglades began in the 1800s to improve trans-
portation/navigation and primarily to encourage agri-
cultural development (U.S. Congress, 1911; Table 1).


On September 28, 1850, Congress passed the "Swamp
Lands Act" which transferred the Everglades region
from Federal to State control (U.S. Congress, 1911).
In an 1855 Florida legislative act (Chapter 610, Laws
of Florida), lands granted to the State in 1845 were


...... .....

Development and Management of Land/Water Resources: The Everglades, Agriculture, and South Florida

Figure 2. General Map of South Florida

put under the control of the Board of Trustees of the
Internal Improvement Fund (U.S. Congress, 1911; pp.
8, 19). Funds originating from land sales were used
for drainage of associated wetlands as stipulated by
the Congressional 1850 Swamp Lands Act (Dovell,
1947; U.S. Congress, 1911). Between 1879 and 1900,


the State legislature granted 15 million acres (6.1
million ha) to railroad companies for development and
use. During 1881-1889, contracts exceeded 9 million
acres (3.64 million ha) for drainage of wetlands
near the Kissimmee, Peace, and Caloosahatchee
Rivers, and construction of a canal south from Lake



Anderson and Rosendahl

TABLE 1. Chronology of Significant Water Resource Development Events in South Florida.

Date Event

1824 Federal government initiated survey of Florida lands (Johnson, 1974).
1841 Elevations in the Glades found to be 10-15 ft above Atlantic Ocean (U.S. Congress, 1848).
1845 Florida Statehood. Florida Legislature enjoined Congress to reclaim the Everglades (U.S. Congress, 1911).
1847 Colonel R. Butler, surveyor general of Florida, reports regarding draining the Everglades (U.S. Congress, 1848).
1847 Mr. Buckingham Smith determines practicability and expediency of draining the Everglades (U.S. Congress, 1911.
1848 General Thomas S. Jesup, suggested lowering surface of Everglades and Lake Okeechobee (U.S. Congress, 1848).
1848 Senate bill No. 338, "to authorize the draining of the Everglades in the State of Florida ..." (U.S. Congress, 1848).
1850 The Swamp and Overflowed Lands Act granted over 20,000,000 acres of swamp to Florida (U.S. Congress, 1911).
1856 First authentic description of the Everglades of Florida, with maps, profiles, and levels was made (U.S. Congress, 1911).
1863 Internal Improvement Fund(IF) restricts land sales within 2 mi. of coast. Prices from $0.75 to 2.50/acre, and finally all lands with
drawn from the market on 9/11/63 (Blake, 1980).
1881 Hamilton Disston and Associates agree to reclaim 4,000,000 acres of swamp/overflowed land (U.S. Congress, 1911).
1883 A shallow canal was completed between the Caloosahatchee River and Lake Okeechobee (Leach et al., 1972).
1898 Trustees of IF authorize private reclamation of 800,000 acres in the southeastern Everglades (Blake, 1980).
1903 Florida Gov. W.S. Jennings addresses Legislature relative to Everglades reclamation (U.S. Congress, 1911).
1904 Reconnaissance in the vicinity of Miami for draining a small tract of Everglades (U.S. Congress, 1911).
1905 Florida Governor's race of 1905 centered on the drainage of the Everglades.
1905 Official route of the first drainage canal adopted by resolution of lF Trustees (Parker et al., 1955; U.S. Congress, 1911).
1905-13 North New River and Miami Canal construction period (Dovell, 1947; Light and Dineen, 1994; U.S. Congress, 1911).
1906 The dredge Everglades launched at Ft. Lauderdale (U.S. Congress, 1911).
1907 Everglades Drainage District was established (U.S. Congress, 1911).
1910 The Miami Canal extended 4-ft. miles into the Everglades and was 10 feet deep (Dovell, 1947).
1910 J.O. Wright, Supervising Drainage Engineer of the U.S. was engaged as Chief Drainage Engineer of State of Florida, to have charge
of all drainage operations in the Everglades (U.S. Congress, 1911).
1910 Senate Bill for Everglades surveys) (U.S. Congress, 1911).
1912 The North New River Canal was opened from Okeechobee to Ft. Lauderdale (Johnson, 1974).
1913 Everglades Drainage District (EDD) established with "authority over drainage and reclamation of land for agriculture and sanitary
purposes, public utility, and public benefit" (U.S. Congress, 1913).
1916 Royal Palm State Park was dedicated (1920 acres); additional 2080 acres added in 1921 (Blake, 1980).
1920 23,000 people living in the EDD and 34,000 acres under cultivation (Blake, 1980).
1920s Construction period for Tamiami Canal and other canals near Miami (Blake, 1980; Dovell, 1947; Parker et al., 1955).
1921 Hillsboro and West Palm Beach Canals constructed (Parker et al., 1955).
1924 St. Lucie Canal opened (construction: 1916-1924; destroyed by 1926 hurricane; rebuilt, 1931) (Parker et al., 1955).
1926 F.C. Elliot, Chief Drainage Engineer for the EDD, bid U.S. government aid in reclaiming the Everglades.
1926 The "Miami" hurricane struck Dade and Broward Co. passing over Lake Okeechobee (Snyder and Davidson, 1994).
1927 Drainage ceased, except for certain maintenance operations, due to failure to sell bonds (Everglades News, 6/17/1927).
1928 The Tamiami Trail opened; "Hurricane of'28;" Everglades Drainage Board petitioned; U.S. government aid in protecting Everglades
from floods; Flood Control Act of 1928 (Everglades News, 11/19/1928; Light and Dineen, 1994).
1929 Okeechobee Flood Control District established. Congress authorized Secretary of the Interior to investigate formation of a Ever
glades national park (Johnson, 1974).
1930 Congress authorizes Caloosahatchee and Lake Okeechobee drainage areas (U.S. Congress, 1930).
1934 President Roosevelt authorized Everglades National Park (ENP) with >2 million acres (Blake, 1980).
1935 Everglades Fire Control District was created (Dovell, 1947; Parker, 1974; U.S. Congress, 1948).
1937 Hoover Dike around southern perimeter of Lake Okeechobee completed (Dovell, 1947).
1943-45 Severe drought inducing saltwater intrusion of the lower southeast Florida coast (Parker et al., 1955).
1944 State of Florida sets aside 385,693 acres of land and 461,482 acres of water for conservation.
1946 EDD designates publicly-owned lands as Water Conservation Areas (WCAs) (Blake, 1980).
1947 State of Florida appropriates money to and dedicates the ENP (Blake, 1980; Johnson, 1974; Jones, 1948).
1948 Army Board of Engineers report that peat soils have subsided 6 to 3 ft (Jones, 1948).
1948 Central and Southern Florida Project for Flood Control and Other Purposes (C&SFCD) created by Congress. Flood Control Act
(Public Law 80-858) passed (U.S. Congress, 1957).
1950 Over 140,000 acres of WCA-1 leased as wildlife refuge by Fish and Wildlife Service (Johnson, 1974).
1953 Levee systems completed along the east edge of Everglades; 20 percent reduction of freshwater flow to ocean (Light and Dineen,
1955 Pumping Station S-5 A and HGS-5 accepted by the South Florida Flood Control District (SFFCD) (Leach et al., 1972).
1956 EDD turned over assets to C&SFCD (Johnson, 1974).
1957 Pumping Station S-6 accepted by the SFFCD (Leach, 1972; Leach et al., 1972).
1958 Back pumping into Lake Okeechobee instituted to provide flood protection.
1960 Levees enclose WCAs 1 and 2 in the northern Everglades (McPherson et al., 1976).
1961 Pumping Station S-7 accepted by SFFCD; original operating level at 13 feet (msl) (Leach et at., 1972; SFWMD, 1991).
1962 Pumping Station S-8 accepted by SFFCD. WCA-3 enclosed by L-29 (915 mi2 total) (Leach et al., 1972).
1963 L-28 and L-67A completed. A tieback canal and levee was completed in 1965.
1964 Hoover Dike enlargements completed.


Development and Management of Land/Water Resources: The Everglades, Agriculture, and South Florida

TABLE 1. Chronology of Significant Water Resource Development Events in South Florida (cont'd.)



1965 Flood Control Act of 1965 amended Act of 1948. The SFFCD tried a schedule of releases to relieve water shortages during drought
of 1961-65 (U.S. Congress, 1965)
1966 The "pump first" concept derived to deliver water to ENP (Trimble and Marban, 1988).
1967 The Everglades Parkway (Alligator Alley) was completed. Completion of L-28 interceptor canal, L-67 extension, and C-1ll; western
boundary of WCA 3 completed. Canal built at request of ENP to bring water to park even when the Everglades was dry. C-1ll
constructed as extension of Atlantic Ridge to provide flow control, drainage, and navigation benefits for the region between
Florida Bay and the Tamiami Canal (Heaney and Huber, 1971; U.S. Congress, 1968).
1968 Proposal to enlarge agricultural area canals and to remove the humps in North New River and Miami Canals. S-197 constructed as
a salinity barrier (Leach et al., 1972; U.S. Congress, 1968).
1968 Ground breaking for jet port for supersonic aircraft 6 miles north of ENP boundary to the Big Cypress Swamp.
1968 South Dade County drainage system completed (Leach et at., 1972).
1970 Extension of Hoover Dike around northern perimeter of Lake Okeechobee completed.
1971 Peat fires in WCA-SA (Schortemyer, 1980).
1971 Kissimmee River straightened (Canal 38); river length reduced from 100 to 52 miles (Storch, 1972).
1972 Florida Water Resources Act: SFWMD established (State of Florida, 1972).
1973 Experimental water draw down from 1973-75 of WCA-2A. Florida Big Cypress Conservation Act of 1973. (Blake, 1980; Worth, 1983,
1975 Environmental Reorganization Act adopted; IFF abolished; 6,248 acres purchased within Rotenberger township under the
Environmentally Endangered Lands program (Blake, 1980).
1978 ENP becomes a Wilderness Park as defined by the "Endangered American Wilderness Act."
1980 Interim actions for reducing nutrients to Lake Okeechobee approved by SFWMD; Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission
implemented controlled sawgrass burning in WCA-2A (SFWMD, 1983).
1980 Four-year draw down of WCA-2A initiated which coincided with regional drought. Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule was
changed to from 9.5 to 12.5 ft NGVD (Worth, 1983, 1988).
1982 "Supply-Side" management techniques during dry season proposed (SFWMD memo, 2/22/82, Schweigart to Ex. Dir.).
1983 Holey Land/Rotenberger Tract acquired with State owning 75 percent of two tracts; the Flow Through Plan for ENP implemented
until 1985 requiring S-12s to remain open to the Shark River Slough (Neidrauer and Cooper, 1989).
1984 Warren Henderson Wetlands Act (SFWMD, 1989).
1987 Florida legislature passes the SWIM Act (Sec. 373.451-4595, Fla. Stat.).
1988 U.S. vs. SFWMD and FDER (U.S. Supreme Court, Case No. 88-1886-CIV-Hoeveler).
1989 Everglades Protection District created as a special taxing district by legislature (SFWMD, 1989).
1990 2nd, 3rd, and 4th SWIM drafts written (SFWMD).
1991 5th SWIM draft (SFWMD) written. Executive Order by the Office of the Governor of Florida (No. 88-25). Marjory Stoneman
Douglass Everglades Protection Act (Sec. 373.4592, Fla. Stat.) passed.
1992 Lawsuit settled, (U.S. District Court, 1991). 6th, 7th, 8th SWIM drafts written. SWIM Plan adopted (SFWMD, 1992a,b).
1993 Principals identified pursuant to resolution and mediation of the Everglades SWIM litigation.
1994 Everglades Forever Act (State of Florida, 1994a).
1994 P loads leaving the EAA reported reduced by 17 percent (Whalen and Whalen, 1996).
1995 P loads leaving the EAA reported reduced by 31 percent (Whalen and Whalen, 1996).
1996 P loads leaving the EAA reported reduced by 68 percent (Whalen and Whalen, 1996).
1997 P loads leaving the EAA reported reduced by 50 percent (SFWMD, 1997).

Conversion: 1 acre = 0.4047 ha; 1 ft = 0.3048 m; 1 ton = 0.907 Mt.

Okeechobee into land referred today as the Ever-
glades Agricultural Area (EAA). By 1905 the Ever-
glades region was surveyed and an official map was
adopted by the Trustees of the Internal Improvement
Fund. Drainage tax districts were established, and in
May 1907, the Everglades Drainage District was
defined and charged to promote drainage for agricul-
tural development. Numerous drainage projects
encouraged an increase in Everglades landowners
from 12 to more than 15,000 between 1909 and 1911.
In 1913, engineering plans were recommended to
expand drainage south of Lake Okeechobee through
the Miami Canal, the proposed West Palm Beach
Canal, and the eastern boundary of the Drainage

District. Construction of the St. Lucie Canal and addi-
tional arterial canals was also recommended, and
between 1913 and 1931, 440 miles (273 km) of canals,
47 miles (29 km) of levees, and 16 locks and dams
were constructed (Dovell, 1947; Jones, 1948).
Throughout this period primary canals defining the
current day EAA were constructed (Miami, North
New River, Hillsboro, and West Palm Beach Canals;
Table 1).
Severe physical and natural damage from the 1926
and 1928 hurricanes coincided with a period of dismal
national economic conditions which resulted in sharp
declines in construction and maintenance by the
Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund until the




Anderson and Rosendahl

1940s (Jones, 1948; Table 1). During this time, most
landowners were tax delinquent.
In 1929, the Florida legislature created the Okee-
chobee Flood-Control District, in response to the
severe loss of life and property from the 1928 hurri-
cane (Bottcher and Izuno, 1994; Dovell, 1947; Jones,
1948; Snyder and Davidson, 1994). The new flood con-
trol district was responsible for construction and
improvements needed for flood control and navigation
throughout southern Florida, which included Lake
Okeechobee, the Everglades areas, the Caloosa-
hatchee River, all of the Everglades Drainage District,
and Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Okeechobee,
and Monroe counties (excluding the Florida Keys). In
addition, between 1930 and 1937, the United States
Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engi-
neers to construct levees and flood control structures
around Lake Okeechobee and to provide a navigable
channel from Stuart to Ft. Myers, through the St.
Lucie Canal and Caloosahatchee River (Light and
Dineen, 1994).
The drought of 1938-1939 resulted in severe fires
in the Everglades region which destroyed many
organic soils to existing water tables and parent rock
(Dovell, 1947). Consequently, the Florida legislature
created the Everglades Fire Control District in 1939.
As a result of public concern for conserving soils and
water in the Everglades, the U.S. Geological Survey
and Soil Conservation Service initiated soil studies
and surveys from 1939 through 1948 (Jones, 1948).
During the mid-1930s through 1947, the Everglades
National Park (ENP) was established. The U.S.
Congress created the Southern Florida Flood Control
Project (FCP) in 1948. The goals of the FCP were to
improve and maintain navigational waterways for the
Kissimmee River, St. Lucie Canal, Lake Okeechobee,
and the Caloosahatchee River; to construct and main-
tain levees and locks around Lake Okeechobee to
maintain water levels and prevent flooding; and to
improve other associated works to ensure protection
of the EAA from flooding (Dovell, 1947; Jones, 1948;
Light and Dineen, 1994; Parker, 1974). In addition,
strategies were implemented to retard salt water
intrusion along the lower east coast urban areas by
decreasing over drainage. In response to these Feder-
al actions, the Florida legislature created the Central
and Southern Florida Flood Control District (FCD) in
1949 to manage the project works established by the
FCP (Blake, 1980; Izuno and Bottcher, 1994; Izuno,
Large-scale drainage projects were accompanied by
extensive development of agriculture and urban com-
munities utilizing Federal, State, and private fund-
ing. The EAA was officially created (U.S. Congress,
1948) and subsequently surface water management

was extensively planned and developed from 1949
through 1963 by the Central and Southern Florida
Flood Control and Other Purposes Project (C&SF Pro-
ject). During this time, canals, pump stations, and
other structures were constructed to provide water
supply to urban areas along the coast and to provide
flood protection for agricultural development within
the EAA. Five Water Conservation Areas (WCAs),
designated as WCA-1 [142,212 acres (57,551 ha)],
WCA-2A [105,528 acres (42,706 ha)], WCA-2B [28,016
acres (11,338 ha)], WCA-3A [491,051 acres (198,721
ha)], and WCA-3B [102,097 acres (41,317 ha)] were
developed and by 1963 regulation plans were estab-
lished (Figure 1; Heaney and Huber, 1971). The
WCAs to this day are utilized to aid flood control for
Lake Okeechobee and the surrounding regions as well
as to preserve and protect wildlife (Light and Dineen,
The Florida Water Resources Act of 1972 estab-
lished five regional water management districts creat-
ed along hydrologic boundaries with mandates to
maintain water supply, ensure adequate flood control,
and protect water quality. Prior to this time, the Cen-
tral and Southern Florida Project for Flood Control
and Other Purposes (C&SFCD) was created by the
Congress in 1948, primarily to study and control
extensive water control problems faced during this
period (Table 1). The South Florida Water Manage-
ment District (SFWMD) is one of five regional dis-
tricts responsible for about 18,000 square miles
(46,600 km2) within 16 counties of south Florida. This
area covers a region from Orlando south to Key West,
including the ENP and the Everglades Protection
Areas (Figures 1 and 2).
The Florida Environmental Reorganization Act of
1972 combined the state's numerous environmental
protection programs under the centralized direction of
the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation
[now the Florida Department of Environmental Pro-
tection (FDEP)] which assumed the regulatory
responsibility for air and water pollution control,
while the water management districts retained
responsibility for water supply and flood control (Aus-
ness, 1987). The Act provided the means for regional
governments to prevent water pollution through regu-
lation of land use and required the preparation of a
state water plan. The Growth Management Act
(GMA) of 1985 established a statewide comprehensive
land use plan. The GMA required that land use deci-
sions be consistent with available facilities for pre-
venting water pollution. The State Water Policy Act of
1981 and 1991 established policies for water conser-
vation and preservation, restoration, and enhance-
ment of natural water systems. Each of these laws
provided a basis for surface and ground water quality





Development and Management of Land/Water Resources: The Everglades, Agriculture, and South Florida

improvement, but none of these laws provided a com-
prehensive approach to restoration and enhancement
of specific water bodies.
The Surface Water Improvement Management Act
(SWIM) was enacted by the State of Florida in 1987.
This Act mandated that water management districts
prioritize, develop, and implement water manage-
ment plans for all waters within district boundaries.
The SWIM Plan for the EAA and Everglades Protec-
tion Area was described by Florida Statutes (State of
Florida, 1987; State of Florida, 1989); rules and regu-
lations of the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection (State of Florida, 1990); and an Executive
Order by the Office of the Governor of Florida (State
of Florida, 1988). The Everglades Protection Area con-
sists of Water Conservation Areas (WCA) 2A, 2B, 3A
and 3B, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National
Wildlife Refuge (WCA 1), the ENP (including most of
Florida Bay), and the ENP expansion area in Dade
County. The SWIM planning includes additional sur-
rounding areas of the EAA, Barnes Sound/Manatee
Bay, the urban fringe of Dade and Broward Counties,
and areas west of the Everglades.
The SWIM Act was modified several times to pro-
vide specific direction to the SFWMD in completion of
the Everglades SWIM Plan (SFWMD, 1989; 1990;
1992a,b; 1993). Development was interrupted due to
litigation initiated by the Federal government against
the SFWMD and the State of Florida regarding pro-
tection of environmentally-sensitive lands of the ENP
and Everglades Protection Area. Although a settle-
ment of the lawsuit with the Federal Government
groups was mediated in 1992, private landowners in
the EAA were not included in the settlement. In 1993,
negotiations with private landowners were concluded
and an EAA regulatory program emerged with a pri-
mary mandate to establish and enforce EAA basin
phosphorus load reductions. The SWIM plan for the
Everglades (SFWMD, 1992b) was legislatively set
aside, and in 1994, the Everglades Forever Act (State
of Florida, 1994b) was passed. The Everglades Forev-
er Act addressed intent, SWIM adoption, land acquisi-
tion, storm water utility funding, permitting,
regulation, and revenue bonding. This Act authorized
implementation of Everglades ecosystem restoration.
The Everglades Forever Act (State of Florida, 1994a)
stated that no SWIM plan for the Everglades would
be required for the next 20 years, but directed specific
guidelines for restoration. A detailed summary of
events is given in Table 1.



The Spanish were responsible for bringing sugar-
cane into the "New World." Encouraged by colonialism
and warm climate, many small growers and mills
were established throughout Florida in the 1600-
1800s (Table 2). Between 1850 and 1860, the Gamble
Mill in Tallahassee was erected and operated until
the Civil War ended production. In the 1860 Florida
census, "2,002,800 pounds of sugar" (908 Mt) was
recorded, most likely produced from the Gamble Mill,
which was the largest mill in Florida at this time.
There was little expansion of sugar production up to
1900, after which commercial crop production of sug-
arcane ceased in north Florida and rapidly progressed
into the Everglades.
The generally frost-free climate and rich soil condi-
tions in the Everglades attracted much interest for
agricultural development. The early sugar industry,
however, found it difficult to survive in conditions
ranging from flood to fire, and many ventures failed
due to natural adversity. Federal and State support
for "swamp lands reclamation" from 1850-1960s, sug-
arcane variety development, and soils research made
it possible to overcome problems encountered during
the early years of development.
From 1959-1962, the ascension to power of the Cas-
tro government in Cuba led to a mass exodus of sugar
technologists to Florida. The United States also lifted
acreage restrictions and disallowed an import quota
of sugar from Cuba, thus permitting expansion of the
sugar industry (Alvarez, 1978; Polopolus and Alvarez,
1991). The result was an expansion of production
from approximately 50,700 acres (20,500 ha) in 1960
to more than 148,200 acres (>60,000 ha) in 1963, to
more than 438,400 acres (177,420 ha) in 1996-1997
using previously undeveloped or pasture lands. Over
the last five years, the area under sugarcane produc-
tion has stabilized because acreage in the EAA has
reached its limit. Other crops such as rice, sod, and
vegetables are also grown in rotation with sugarcane.
Current acreage in vegetables has been reduced com-
pared to the past because of increased market compe-
tition. In addition, further land acquisitions
previously discussed will potentially remove 40,000 to
50,000 acres of sugarcane from production in the
southern areas of the EAA.
Continued prosperity of the Florida sugar industry
as well as the rest of the agricultural community is
directly related to the sustainability of the environ-
ment (soil, water, air) to maintain high yields and
remain in environmental compliance to existing regu-
lations. In recent years, the Florida sugar industry


I .

Anderson and Rosendahl

TABLE 2. Summary of the History of the Florida Sugarcane Industry.*



1493 Sugarcane spread to Spanish colonies in the western hemisphere by Columbus and other explorers.
1518 Approximately 40 grinding mills found in Hispaniola.
1558 Sugar commonly used as ship ballast to Spain.
1572 The Spanish explorer Menendes cultivated sugarcane on San Felipe Island off St. Augustine Bay.
1763 English acquisitioned Florida from the Spanish, encouraging sugar development along St. Johns River.
1764 Sugar plantation developed at Charltia by Denys Rolle.
1767 Sugar plantation developed at New Smyrna, 60 miles south of St. Augustine by Dr. Andrew Turnbull.
1771 Sugar plantation developed on the Halifax River.
1775 Sugar plantation developed at Long Lake some 30 miles away from New Smyrna.
1800 Tb the 1830s sugarcane grown by small farmers for syrup and sugar, ruins of mills at Mosquito Inlet near Smyrna, Indian River,
Port Organce, and DeLeon Springs have been found from this era.
1827 Sugarcane plantings recorded in Gadsden Co. at the Malo Campo Plantation along the Matanzas River.
1836 Indian warfare destroyed many small plantations.
1840 275,000 Ibs of sugar produced in Florida.
1849 2,750,000 lbs of sugar produced in Florida.
1859 1,669,000 Ibs of sugar produced in Florida.
1881 Hamilton Disston initiated sugarcane plantings in the Everglades region (Disston Drainage Co); 15,000,000 acres of Swamp &
Overflow Lands" were specified for drainage and development.
1886 St. Cloud Plantation established with yields averaging 35 tons/acre. The plantation was bought and reorganized by Disston as the
Florida Sugar Manufacturing Co.
1891 Dr. Harvey W. Wiley (U.S. Dep. Agr.) studied sugarcane production in the Lake Okeechobee area.
1892 1,200,000 Ibs of sugar produced at the St. Cloud Mill.
1895 1,500,000 lbs of sugar produced at the St. Cloud Mill
1896 Disston died, St. Cloud Mill sold, and the plantation dissolved later.
1899 325,000 lbs of sugar produced in Florida.
1902 Southern States Land & Timber Company acquired 2,000,000 acres along Lake Okeechobee.
1908 7,000 Ibs of sugar produced in Florida.
1915 Southern States Land & Timber Company built syrup mills at Canal Point and the S.S. Ranch on the St. Lucie Canal. Sugarcane
grown at Canal Point, Loxahatchee, S.S. Ranch, and Indiantown.
1919 Pennsylvania Sugar Company purchased 75,000 acres on the Miami Canal.
1920 Judge John C. Gramling planted sugarcane in Moore Haven; syrup venture failed.
1920 Florida Sugar & Food Products Company acquisitioned 4,000 acres in Canal Point.
1921 The Everglades Experiment Station established in Belle Glade.
1922 Moore Haven Sugar Corporation established a 200 ton capacity mill; by 1925 operations had ceased.
1928 Florida Sugar & Food Products Company began grinding cane with a 400 ton capacity mill
1924 Pennsylvania Sugar Company began grinding cane. Because of over investments, poor water control, and crop nutritional
problems, the company diverted lands to cattle and vegetables.
1925 Bror G. Dahlberg, president of Celotex Company of Chicago, took over holdings of the Florida Sugar & Food Products Company.
Dahlberg purchased and leased over 35,000 acres south and east of Lake Okeechobee for sugarcane production under the
Southern Sugar Company.
1926 September hurricane killed over 300 persons in Moore Haven and area; the hurricane also destroyed and flooded many farms and
1926 U.S. Cane Testing and Breeding Station at Canal Point finished; B.A. Bourne, Director (Everglades News, 6/20/1926).
1928 September hurricane killed over 2,400 persons in Belle Glade and Pahokee; the hurricane also destroyed and flooded many farms
and property; Southern Sugar Co. harvests over 5,000 acres of sugarcane. (Figure 3).
1929 Dahlberg combined Florida Sugar & Food Products Company mill and Pennsylvania Sugar Company mill at Clewiston; the milling
capacity was 1,500 tons/day.
1930 Southern Sugar Co. went into receivership.
1931 The United States Sugar Corp. under Charles S. Mott in Clewiston acquired the Southern Sugar Co.
1933 Fellsmere Sugar Co. organized 80 miles north of the Everglades.
1937 Fellsmere Sugar Producers Association organized by 11 growers.
1947 Okeelanta mill created by Gulf& Western Industries, Inc., 8 miles south of South Bay.
1952 Okeelanta mill sold to Okeelanta Sugar Refinery, Inc.
1959 Fellsmere Sugar Producers Association sold to Okeelanta Sugar Refinery, Inc.
1961 Florida Sugar Corp. built to produce liquid sugar 12 miles east of Belle Glade.
1961 Osceola Farms Co. started by the Flo-Sun Land Corporation east of Pahokee.
1962 Mesa Mill near Clewiston started; bankrupt the same year.
1962 Bryant Sugar Mill started by U.S. Sugar Corp.
1962 Glades Co. Sugar Growers Cooperative Association started in Moore Haven.
1962 Sugarcane Growers Coop. of Florida started in Belle Glade.
1962 Talisman Sugar Corporation started 17 miles south of South Bay.
1963 South Florida Sugar Co. produced raw and refined sugar (see 1965).




Development and Management of Land/Water Resources: The Everglades, Agriculture, and South Florida

TABLE 2. Summary of the History of the Florida Sugarcane Industry* (cont'd.)


Sugarcane spread to Spanish colonies in the western hemisphere by Columbus and other explorers.
Atlantic Sugar Association cooperative and mill started 15 miles east of Belle Glade.
Okeelanta Mill sold to South Puerto Rico Sugar Co.; Mill was acquired same year by Gulf & Western Industries, Inc.
South Florida Sugar Co. acquisitioned by the Talisman Sugar Corp.
Fellsmere Sugar Producers Association consolidated by Gulf & Western Industries, Inc. to the Okeelanta Mill.
Everglades Sugar Refinery, Inc. built by Savannah Foods & Industries, Inc.
Florida Sugar Corp. acquisitioned; later closed by Talisman Sugar Corp.
Glades Co. Sugar Growers Coop. Association purchased and closed by Gulf& Western Industries, Inc.
Okeelanta Mill and other holdings of Gulf & Western Industries, Inc., acquisitioned by the Flo-Sun Land Corp.
1.725 million tons of raw sugar produced in Florida with approximately 443,900 acres in sugarcane production.
1.771 million tons of raw sugar produced in Florida with approximately 436,700 acres in sugarcane production.
1.679 million tons of raw sugar produced in Florida with approximately 438,400 acres in sugarcane production.

*After Davis (1943), Davis et al. (1994), Dovell (1947), Izuno (1989), Jones (1948), Salley (1985), Sitterson (1953), Snyder and Davidson (1994),
and U.S. Congress (1911).
Conversion: 1 acre = 0.4047 ha; 1 ft = 0.3048 m; 1 ton = 0.907 Mt; 1 Ibs = 0.453 kg.

has seen much change. For instance, there has been a
rapid shift from a hand-harvested crop that once
annually employed 10,000 to 11,000 cane cutters to a
fully mechanical harvest system. Also, pump dis-
charges are monitored for water quality and all grow-
ers are now mandated to participate in best
management practices to reduce nutrient discharges
from their farms into primary canals of the EAA.
These changes have led to more than a 51 percent
reduction of total phosphorus loads discharged from
the EAA into the Everglades Protection Areas in a
period of 1995 through 1997 (SFWMD, 1997; Table 1).
Protection of organic soils from subsidence, fires, and
wind and water erosion also continues to be a con-
cern. A political and policy question is how can both
the sugar industry and a growing urban population
exist adjacent to the Everglades? Equitable distribu-
tion of natural resources (especially water) among
urban, agricultural, recreation, and industrial sectors,
with the Everglades is essential. The future is uncer-
tain, and further change is inevitable.


The amount of public lands in 11 counties in south
Florida were surveyed (Table 3). The public lands set
aside for preservation, conservation, or wildlife
restoration purposes approximate 50 to 58 percent of
the total area of south Florida. Acquisitions of public
lands have increased 15 percent within the last five
years in some counties, and future public acquisition
is expected to continue [Save-Our-Rivers (SOR),
1996]. At the same time, water demands in the
EAA will decrease in time. More than 40,000 acres of


agricultural land in the EAA will be used for storm
water treatment areas (STAs), and additional lands
could be purchased for water storage.
Urban development is rapidly expanding along
Florida's lower east and southwest coasts on former
wetlands, tidal flood lands, and agricultural lands.
The official population projections for south Florida
(11 counties, Table 3) indicate an increase from
approximately 5.5 million people to more than 10 mil-
lion people by the year 2020 (Figure 3). These esti-
mates are based upon U.S. Bureau of the Census data
for each county and calculation techniques assuming
linear and share-of-growth for five year periods
(Smith and Nogle, 1997). Population demands for
water (for recreation, drinking, industrial) will pro-
portionately increase and the competition with other
users for diminishing water and land resources will
cause future conflicts.
Using unofficial estimates of population for 1996,
slightly less than 7 million people (Anderson and
Rosendahl, 1997) could be used for purposes of calcu-
lating highly conservative water demands to the year
2020. In Florida, annual population increases from
the base declined every 10 years: 7.9 percent (1950-
60), 3.7 percent (1960-70), 4.3 percent (1970-80), 3.3
percent (1980-90), and 1.4 percent (1990-1996) (S. K.
Smith, 1997, Personal Discussions, Bureau of Eco-
nomic and Business Research, University of Florida,
Gainesville, Florida). Unfortunately, predictions in
south Florida are different and difficult to assess due
to migration, tourism, land use changes, etc. Using
Lee County as an example for south Florida (data
from Lee Co. Planning Office), annual population
increased 6 percent per year between 1978-85, 4 per-
cent per year between 1985-89, and 3 percent per year
between 1989-95. Although percent increases in the




--~--- ~--~*LL-.~-~~.-I~~YL-L-.r---... ~-~-Y-l--. -. ....

.1. I Ii

Anderson and Rosendahl

TABLE 3. Distribution of Public Lands in South Florida.

Public Ownership Areas Aare Public Ownership Areas Acres

Allapattah Ranch (CARISave-Our-Rivers)
Atlantic Ridge Ecosystem (Save-Our-Rivers)
Bahia Honda State Recreation Area
Barley Barber Swamp
Belle Mead ConsJRec. Lands Project (CARL)
Big Cypress National Park
Big Pine Key (SFWMD, Save Our Rivers)
Biscayne Bay Nat. Pres. (171,925c)
Biscayne Bay Card Sound State Aq. Pres.
Blowing Rocks Nature Preserve
Broward County Regional & Local Parks
Broward County Parks/Activities Areas
Brown's Farm
Carroll Property (in EAA)
Catfish Creek (Save-Our-Rivers)
Charlotte County Parks/Activities Areas
Collier County Parks/Activities Areas
Collier Seminole State Park
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed
Coupon Bight State Aquatic Preserve
Coupon Bight Buffer State Preserve
Cowpen's Rookery Preserve
CREW Trust (Save-Our-Rivers)
Curry Hammock CARL Project
Dade County Parka/Activities Areas
Delnor-Wiggens Pass State Rec. Area
Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Pine Island National Wildlife Refuge
Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge
Island Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Dry Ibrtugas National Park (land/water)
DuPuis Reserve (Save-Our-Rivers)
East Coast Buffer (Save-Our.Rivers)
East Everglades National Park
Everglades Buffer Strip N. (Save-Our-Rivers)
Everglades National Park
Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve
Fisheating Creek (Save-Our-Rivers)
Florida Keys Trust (private preserves)
Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge
Frog Pond (Save-Our-Rivers)
Ft. Zachary Taylor State Historical Site
Glades Co. Parks/Activities Areas
Hendry Co. Parks/Activities Areas
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge
Holey Land
Horn Island (Deltona Settlement Lands)
Indian Key State Historical Site
Jensen Beach-to-Jupiter Inlet Aquatic Pres.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (53,661c)
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area


Key Largo Hammock State Bet. Site
Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary
Kissimmee Prairie Ecosys. (Save-Our-Rivers)
Kissimmee River Lo. Basin (Save-Our-Rivers)
Kissimmee Prairie Sane. (Audubon)
Latt Maxcy Lands (Save-Our-Rivers)
Lee County Environ. Sens. Lands
Lee County Port Authority
Lee County Recreational/Activities Areas
Lignumvitae Key State Aquatic Preserve
Lignumvitae Key State Bot. Site
Looe Key National Marine Sanc.
Long Key State Recreational Area(117e)
Loxahatchee Nat. Wildl Ref. (Arthur R. Marshall)
& Stazzula Marsh Lease
Loxahatchee River (Save-Our-Rivers)
Loxahatchee Slough (Save-Our-Rivers)
Martin County Parks/Activities Areas
Model Lands Basin (Save-Our-Rivers)
Monroe County Recreational/Activities Areas
National Wildlife Key Deer Refuge (land/water)
Great Wht. Heron Nat. Wildl. Refuge (185,086e)
Key West National Wildlife Refuge (206,289C)
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Nicodemus Slough (Save-Our-Rivers)
Okeechobee (Lake) Ridge
Okaloacoochee Slough (Save-Our-Rivers)
Okeechobee County Parks/Activities Areas
Okee-Tantie Recreational Area
Pal-Mar (Save-Our-Rivers)
Palm Beach County Env.-Sens. Lands Acq. Prog.
Palm Beach County Parks/Activities Areas
Palm Beach County Private Preserve Veg. Program
Paradise Run (Save-Our-Rivers)
Port Bougainville, Key Largo (274c)
Pratt Whitney Preserve
Rookery Bay Nat. Estuarine Res. Reservea
Cape Romano, 10,000 Island Aq. Res.,
Rookery Bay Aquatic Reserve.
Pratt Whitney Preserve
Rotenberger Tract
Royal American Property
San Pedro Archaeologic Aquatic Preserve
Sandhill Nature Preserve
Savannas State Preserve (FDEP; 4,790)
Sea Branch State Preserve
Six Mile Cypress (Save-Our-Rivers)
Six Mile Cypress I (Save-Our-Rivers)
S. Fork St. Lucie River (Save-Our-Rivers)
Southern Glades (Save-Our-Rivers)
S. Golden Gate Est. (Save-Our-Rivers)
St. Lucie Inlet State Preserve



aAcreage estimates for 1996, values not certifiable due to current/future land acquisition uncertainty. Conversion: 1 acre = 0.4047 ha.
bConsidered part of the management plan of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary which composes of 2,774 m2 ( (>1,775,360 acres).
eAquatic acreage not included in subtotal.
dIxahatchee NWR total acreage (146,357 acres) includes WCA-1; reported acreage is outside of WCA-1 with lease land from the Stazzula
Marsh. Acreage not counted twice.
eUpland and submerged lands from the ENP, Big Cypress Nat. Preserve, and Dry Tortugas Nat. Park included in total.
fAcreages confirmed from Federal/State census, FDEP (Ree. Parks Man. Inf. System, Tallahassee), or county planning offices.



Development and Management of Land/Water Resources: The Everglades, Agriculture, and South Florida

TABLE 3. Distribution of Public Lands in South Florida (cont'd.).

Publi Ownership Areas Amre South Florida Counties Total Acres

STA-2 6,430 Broward 776,040
STA-/4 16,660 Charlotte 441,600
STA-" 4,850
STA.6 812 Collier 1,276,160
Talisman Sugar 32,000a Dade 1,578,034
The Conservancy, Inc. 134 G
Twelve Mile Slough (Save-Our-Rivers) 8,300 ade 48320
U.S. Army Corps Engineers 747 Hendry 744,320
WCA 1 142,212 Lee 519,457
WCA2A 105,528
WCA 2B 28,016 Martin 355,200
WCA 3A 491,051 Monroe 1,200,344e
WCA 3B 102,097
Windley Key State Geol. Site 36 Okeechobee 49,440
10,000 Island Nat. Wildl. Refuge 19,620a Palm Beach 1,275,520

Subtotal (upland-Mangrov only) 4,572,68d
Total (uplands/alt water aquatic) 5,280,936 County Totals 9,147,46s f
49.99% and 57.78%, respectively,
of total county areas

aAcrege estimates for 1996, values not certifiable due to current/future land acquisition uncertainty. Conversion: 1 acre = 0.4047 ha.
bConsidered part of the management plan of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary which composes of 2,774 m2 ( (>1,775,360 acres).
CAquatic acreage not included in subtotal.
dLoxahatchee NWR total acreage (146,357 acres) includes WCA-1; reported acreage is outside of WCA-1 with lease land from the Stazzula
Marsh. Acreage not counted twice.
eUpland and submerged lands from the EN, Big Cypress Nat. Preserve, and Dry Tortugas Nat. Park included in total.
fAcreages confirmed from Federal/State census, FDEP (Rec. Parks Man. Inf. System, Tallahassee), or county planning offices.









1995 2000 2005 2010

2015 2020

Figure 3. South Florida Population Growth Expectations Based on Several
Methods of Calculation (after Smith and Nogle, 1997).




Anderson and Rosendahl

population base decreased for each period, if annual
increases of 3 to 4 percent per year in south Florida
(using exponential calculations) and higher popula-
tion figures are assumed, then substantially more
people can be expected to live in south Florida by the
year 2020 than the official estimates predict. Rebuild-
ing of coastal urban centers (higher density) are rea-
sonable to assume, trends currently observed in Dade
County (single family to multiple family dwellings).
Also desirability of urban growth in counties with
lower population growths (Glades, Hendry, Okee-
chobee) may migrate growth away from coastal urban
centers. Factors promoting continued urban growth in
south Florida are: land availability, low taxes, desir-
able climate, housing availability, infra structural
community/urban planning, industrial planning,
health-care facilities, schools and universities, energy
availability, transportation, municipal water supply,
etc. Current leadership must recognize that these fac-
tors are actively changing if the rising population
demands for limited resources are to be met. The
major two factors that may limit population growth
are availability of water and land resources. There-
fore, water demands calculated on higher expecta-
tions more reasonably assure that management
resources are in place should official population esti-
mates not be realized in the near future, yet certainly
to the year 2050.


In south Florida, restoration and conservation of
the Everglades and adjacent natural areas involve
both ground and surface water issues. Everglades
protection and restoration has affected water use
planning for urban and recreation uses, drinking
water, industry, agriculture, and natural areas in both
urban and non-urban settings. Ground water aquifer
issues are focused on storage and usage affecting salt-
water intrusion along coastal areas, deep well injec-
tion of low solid wastes, and use of stored water for
irrigation and urban drinking waters affecting fresh
water delivery to the Everglades and other natural
areas (e.g., mangroves, Florida Bay). Historically
(< 100 years), 80 percent of the hydraulic flow of sur-
face water passed into Lake Okeechobee, overflowing
south and southwest through to the Everglades and
Florida Bay. With construction of water control struc-
tures throughout South Florida, 80 percent of the
hydraulic flow of surface water was diverted into the
Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico (Larsen, 1995).
Environmental protection of public lands throughout
the region (Table 3) has led to the setting of inflow
water quality standards based on impact on "flora


and fauna" (SFWMD, 1997), and in some areas, water
level standards (e.g., Lake Okeechobee). Therefore,
developing and implementing policies that balance
and sustain water resource needs for all users have
become increasingly difficult.
Historically, management of ground and surface
waters has been the business of the FDEP and
SFWMD. Although both agencies monitor water qual-
ity, users are responsible for the costs of monitoring
pollutants in order to maintain user permits. The
SFWMD manages extensive water control network
facilities in south Florida, implements policies set by
the FDEP, and monitors/controls regional water quali-
ty and quantities. In addition, the effects users have
on the ecological health of natural areas (e.g., wet-
lands, State waters, etc.) are also monitored by the
SFWMD. Working with regional water management
districts throughout Florida, the FDEP sets water
quality standards, implements resource policy, and
monitors ground water pollutants and point-source
Water resources must be protected for long-term
utility, despite the fact that each user may impact
each other. For instance, recreational use of water
(e.g., swimming, fishing, boating, sailing) requires
water of high quality and quantity that may directly
affect how the same water will also be utilized and
returned by industrial, urban, or agricultural users.
Thus, policy depends upon the minimum standards
satisfying and sustaining all users using the same
resource. When several users compete for the same
water resource, management of one user may affect
others. For example, in times of long-term short water
supply (i.e., drought), hydro period stabilization of
water within natural marshes may have low priority,
whereas maintenance of city and irrigation water
supply wells affecting salt water intrusion will have a
high priority during the same time period. In south
Florida, nature conservancies and Federal/State wet-
lands (Table 3) are bounded by urban, agricultural,
and other users. All users impact each other in some
manner along these boundaries. The Everglades con-
troversy is largely based upon perceived "risks" and
"impacts" of private and public water use on the eco-
logical degradation to the ENP, Florida Bay, and other
restoration or public land areas. Currently, the
acceptable "risks" and "impacts" have not been deter-
mined. In addition, the consequences of sustaining
long term resource users must also be sociologically,
economically, ecologically, and aesthetically analyzed.
For the last 100 years, Federal and State policies
were directed toward resource development of the
Everglades and coastal regions. Population growth
and agricultural expansion were encouraged by
hydraulic changes made throughout the natural land-
scape by Federal and State initiatives for purposes of


^------------------ ^- -- j

Development and Management of Land/Water Resources: The Everglades, Agriculture, and South Florida

flood/fire/drought protection, economic prosperity, and
navigation. Today, Federal and State policies are now
directed away from development toward restoration,
protection, and conservation. Since acquisition of eco-
logically protected areas has reached 50-58 percent of
the total area in south Florida (Table 3), continuation
of land acquisition policies are questionable in view of
finite land/water resources and diminishing tax rev-
enues available to purchase and manage public lands.
For this reason, a sustainable balance between nature
and other users should be sought with current land
acquisitions and environmental restrictions in place.


Political and resource management conflicts have
arisen because State and Federal policies which
favored development of south Florida are now being
reversed by policies and regulation efforts to restore,
protect, and conserve natural ecosystems. Multiuser
demands for water and land resources in south Flori-
da are increasing. If management policies are princi-
pally driven to restore, protect, and conserve natural
ecosystems, other user needs of the water system can
be overwhelmed. Water authorities' greatest responsi-
bility will be to prioritize water use and set acceptable
impact standards, although it may be impossible to
reconcile all user concerns within a limited area and
time. Within the framework of integrated water man-
agement, prioritization of water use is the responsibil-
ity of both policy makers and managers after
weighing one user demand against the other. Based
on potential population growth projections alone,
water use will be increasingly shared by an urban
component. Therefore, rational water use decisions
will have far-reaching effects, especially where
assigned functions to past established users have
changed irreconcilably. This is especially true in south
Florida, where acquisition of public lands have
increased to more than 58 percent of the landscape
area (Table 3). In these cases, policy may take prece-
dence over management until problems are solved
through research, development, and application.
Unfortunately, some policy decisions are not economi-
cally centered. Management of public land and water
resources may not be fully possible with short rev-
Senues and personnel.
In consideration that environmentally sensitive
land acquisition and population have both increased
at similar rates during the last five years, prioritizing
Water resources for all users will be increasingly more

difficult and essential. The Florida sugar industry
is facing these challenges. Sugarcane production
acreage as of 1996-1997 reached 438,400 acres. How-
ever, some of these lands will be converted to wetland
marshes, reducing future production acreage. Other
Florida agricultural interests have faced similar prob-
lems, such as loss of agricultural land to urban devel-
opment, loss in production resulting from competing
markets, or potential loss of future lands for the pro-
vision of "wildlife corridors" (Cox et al., 1994; Harris
and Atkins, 1991; Noss, 1987). The later point is
extensively promoted by conservation groups and spe-
cial interest organizations.
The current State legislation governing the water
quality entering Everglades Protection Areas states
that surface waters shall not impact "flora and fauna"
(State of Florida, 1994a, 1994b). In essence, this legis-
lation has been interpreted as a "zero tolerance" law
demanding "zero impact" between intensive users and
nature. Surface water drainage and runoff from
urban, industrial, and agricultural endeavors are
intensive. Whereas natural areas are normally non-
intensive because surface water conditions are based
on natural cycles of supply and internal quality.
Therefore, there shall always be a water quality/
quantity conflict between intensive and nonintensive
boundary neighbors. To eliminate this conflict, one or
all of the boundary neighbors would need to be elimi-
nated. Should "zero impact" conditions be set along
boundaries between lands set aside for natural pro-
tection and other land uses, such as urban, industrial,
and agricultural areas, then all other water resource
users could be deemed incompatible with natural
ecosystems. Resource conflicts will only be mediated
after development of rational Federal and State poli-
cies for sustainable management systems that protect
and guarantee that all users have equitable and
future access to water and land resources in south
Florida (e.g., integrated resource management).


Appreciation is expressed to Dr. Wossenu Abtew (SFWMD, West
Palm Beach, Florida), Bradley G. Waller (Hydrologic Assoc. USA,
Inc., Miami, Florida), Greg Hendricks (Nat. Res. Cons. Ser.,
Wellington, Florida), Robert L. Hamrick (SFWMD, West Palm
Beach, Florida), and Dr. Leo C. Polopolus (Professor Food and Res.
Econ. Dept., University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida) for their
editorial assistance and manuscript suggestions.


I I _~__ ____~ -C~~'~"".


Anderon and Rosendahl
r' Anderson and Rosendahl


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