Title: Letter From Garald Parker to Richard Pope Re: Recharge of the Florida Aquifer
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004136/00001
 Material Information
Title: Letter From Garald Parker to Richard Pope Re: Recharge of the Florida Aquifer
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Letter From Garald Parker to Richard Pope Re: Recharge of the Florida Aquifer (JDV Box 43)
General Note: Box 18, Folder 1 ( Water Task Force - 1983 ), Item 12
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00004136
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

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DERRILL McATEER, Chairman Br-ooksville HERMAN BEVILLE, Bushnell THOMAS VAN der VEER, Yankeetown
S. C. BEXLEY, JR. Vice Chairman, Land O'Lakes JOE E. HILL, Leesburg ROBERT E. VAUGHN, Brandon
E M JOHN A. ANDERSON, Treasurer. St. Petersburg PETER J. NEGRI, Ocala J. MASON WINES, Lakeland
Dale Twachtmann, Executive Director

October 18, 1972

Mr. Richard D. Pope
Chairman of the Board
Florida Cypress Gardens, Inc.
Post Office Box 1
Cypress Gardens, Florida 33880

Dear Mr. Pope:

Your letter to Don Feaster dated October 11, 1972, with newspaper reprints has
been referred to me for reply. We share with you a deep concern regarding the.
future of the Green Swamp and its role in helping maintain a beauty and quality
of life that this part of Florida has always had but seems increasingly in dan-
ger of losing.

One of the principal sources of recharge Lo the Fluridan Aquifer -- the great
"rain barrel" that we all dip into for our water supplies -- is the Green Swamp.
Some people believe that it is the sole source of recharge, but this is not
true. It is topographically the highest source of aquifer recharge in Florida
south of the peninsular saddle (or low area) that crosses the peninsula. in a
generally east-west line a bit north of Ocala. However, to the west of the
Green Swamp there is another, though 40 feet lower, topographic high source of
recharge known as "The Pasco High." And, in large areas coastward toward the
Gulf of Mexico, where the Floridan Aquifer is at or very near the land surface,
large amounts of recharge take place even within a mile or so of the shoreline.

Actually, the recharge-discharge relationships of the Floridan Aquifer are very
complex and can best be shown by use of an aquifer-flow map, such as I have
developed and used in a number of speeches before Service Clubs, County Commis-
sions and City Councils in your area including Lakeland, Winter Park, Auburndale,
Winter Haven, Bartow, Lake Wales, Highland Park, and others.

In saying that the Green Swamp is not the sole source of recharge to the aquifer,
I do not mean to downrate the importance of the Green Swamp in our water-supply
evaluations. It is only to set it into a proper perspective and to indicate
that it is of prime importance to us as a water-supply source that must not be
permitted to be despoiled by thoughtless or conscienceless acts of the "land
developers," many of whom are out to make a financial killing out of the rape
of the land and who know little and care less of the consequences of their "land

Mr. Richard D. Pope
October 18, 1972
Page -2-

Many developers, of course, do not fit the above categorization, nor are all
land sales in the area detrimental. The harm results, generally, when wet
lands must be drained to be made habitable; when the beauty of the swamplands
is destroyed by the bulldozers, the ditchdiggers, and the paving machines;
when the water table is so lowered that creeks no longer flow; when forests
are cut and burned so that native wildlife is destroyed, the wild animals
driven away, and the very charm and beauty that made the area desirable in the
first place is no longer left in existence.

The problem is, then, to allow just so much development in the Green Swamp as
is consistent with maintenance of the area as a continuing source of water
supply for the growing population and a place of beauty and enjoyment where
nature can still be a source of relaxation and inspiration to those who need
to get away from the turmoil, strife and hum-drum of city life and seek rest
and enjoyment in the beauty and quiet of Nature.

This cannot be done, however, without setting aside lands needed for such pur-
poses. Well fields, green-belts, parks and wildlife preserves will be needed
and must be in public ownership. These needed lands are all now in private
ownership -- except the lands the Southwest Florida Water Management District
has purchased and is planning to purchase for our Little Withlacoochee and
Green Swamp Flood Detention Areas, a total of about 85,120 acres or 133 square
miles. This land, which will serve jointly as flood-waters preserve, park,
wild-life preserve and recreational area will also supply water for artificial
recharge to the Floridan Aquifer and can be the site of a huge well field
designed to serve the needs of the growing population in the surrounding area.

The total area known as "The Green Swamp" comprises about 850 square miles,
and our land in public ownership, mentioned above, will be only 15.6 percent
of the swamp. Thus, 84.4 percent of the Green Swamp will still lie in private
ownership, and some large additional land holdings will need to be purchased
if "The Green Swamp is to be saved."

The next step toward saving the swamp would be making a detailed study of the
area to determine just which lands should be put into public ownership.
Although the U. S. Geological Survey made an excellent geologic and hydrologic
study of this area, published by the Florida Geological Study in 1961, the
report does not discuss lands suitable or unsuitable for development, nor are
the data in the report adequate for such determinations. This kind of study
has not yet been made. Nor is it possible, off the top of one's head, or by a
scanning of topographic and land-ownership maps of the Green Swamp, to derive
such conclusions. Thus, we are faced with a set of problems needing immediate
answers, but not having the information at hand needed to supply the answers
so that actions can be taken in the near future.

This is an overly-long reply to your letter, Mr. Pope, but I hope that it
covers most of the important points that we consider to be relevant. In con-
clusion, I, or others of our qualified staff, could be scheduled to talk on
this subject to interested persons either in small work or study groups or in

Mr. Richard D. Pope
October 18, 1972
Page -3-

large audiences. It is our desire to do our best to be of assistance. Please
do not hesitate to write or call.

Very sincerely yours,

Garald G. Parker, C.P.G.
Senior Scientist and
Chief Hydrologist




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