Sunday, October 26, 2014

Draining and development of the Everglades,, The history of draining and development of the Everglades dates back to the 19th century. During the Second Seminole Warbeginning in 1836, the United States military's mission was to seek out Seminole people in the Everglades and capture or kill them. Those missions gave the military the opportunity to map land that seemed to frustrate and confound them at every turn. French Macaron Pillow ,Creative Cushion - Matty's A national push for expansion and progress toward the latter part of the 19th century stimulated interest in draining theEverglades for agricultural use. According to historians, "From the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century, the United States went through a period in which wetland removal was not questioned. Indeed, it was considered the proper thing to do."[1] French Macaron Pillow ,Creative Cushion - Matty's A pattern of political and financial motivation, and a lack of understanding of the geography and ecology of the Everglades have plagued the history of drainage projects. The Everglades are a part of a massive watershed that originates near Orlando and drains into Lake Okeechobee, a vast and shallow lake. SONY VAIO PCG-81111V battery As the lake exceeds its capacity in the wet season, the water forms a flat and very wide river, about 100 miles (160 km) long and 60 miles (97 km) wide. As the land from Lake Okeechobee slopes gradually to Florida Bay, water flows at a rate of half a mile (0.8 km) a day. Before human activity in the Everglades, the system comprised the lower third of the Florida peninsula. SONY VAIO PCG-81211V battery The first attempt to drain the region was made by real estate developerHamilton Disston in 1881. Disston's sponsored canals were unsuccessful, but the land he purchased for them stimulated economic and population growth that attracted railway developer Henry Flagler. Flagler built a railroad along the east coast of Florida and eventually to Key West; towns grew and farmland was cultivated along the rail line. SONY VAIO PCG-51111V battery During his 1904 campaign to be elected governor, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward promised to drain the Everglades, and his later projects were more effective than Disston's. Broward's promises sparked a land boom facilitated by blatant errors in an engineer's report, pressure from real estate developers, and the burgeoning tourist industry throughout south Florida. SONY VAIO PCG-51111M battery The increased population brought hunters who went unchecked and had a devastating impact on the numbers of wading birds (hunted for their plumes), alligators, and other Everglades animals. Severe hurricanes in 1926 and 1928 caused catastrophic damage and flooding from Lake Okeechobee that prompted the Army Corps of Engineers to build a dike around the lake. SONY VAIO PCG-51112M battery Further floods in 1947 prompted an unprecedented construction of canals throughout southern Florida. Following another population boom after World War II, and the creation of the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project, the Everglades was divided into sections separated by canals and water control devices that delivered water to agricultural and newly developed urban areas. SONY VAIO PCG-51211M battery However, in the late 1960s, following a proposal to construct a massiveairport next to Everglades National Park, national attention turned from developing the land to restoring the Everglades. American involvement in the Everglades began during the Second Seminole War (1836–42), a costly and very unpopular conflict. SONY VAIO PCG-51212M battery The United States spent between $30 million and $40 million and lost between 1,500 and 3,000 lives. The U.S. military drove the Seminoles into the Everglades and were charged with the task of finding them, defeating them, and moving them to Oklahoma Indian territory. Almost 4,000 Seminoles were killed in the war or were removed.[2][3] SONY PCG-7134M battery The U.S. military was completely unprepared for the conditions they found in the Everglades. They tore their clothes on sawgrass, ruined their boots on the uneven limestone floor, and were plagued by mosquitoes. Soldiers' legs, feet, and arms were cut open on the sawgrass and gangrene infection set in, taking many lives and limbs. Many died of mosquito-borne illness. SONY PCG-7131M battery After slogging through mud, one private died in his tracks of exhaustion in 1842.[3] General Thomas Jesup admitted the military was overwhelmed by the terrain when he wrote to the Secretary of War in 1838, trying to dissuade him from prolonging the war.[3] Opinion about the value of Florida to the Union was mixed: some thought it a useless land of swamps and horrible animals, while others thought it a gift from God for national prosperity.[4] Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/W Battery In 1838 comments in The Army and Navy Chronicle supported future development of southern Florida: The] climate [is] most delightful; but, from want of actual observation, [it] could not speak so confidently of the soil, although, from the appearance of the surrounding vegetation, a portion of it, at least, must be rich. Whenever the aborigines shall be forced from their fastnesses, as eventually they must be, Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G Battery the enterprising spirit of our countrymen will very soon discover the sections best adapted to cultivation, and the now barren or unproductive everglades will be made to blossom like a garden. It is the general impression that these everglades are uninhabitable during the summer months, by reason of their being overflowed by the abundant rains of the season; Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/B Battery but if it should prove that these inundations are caused or increased by obstructions to the natural courses of the rivers, as outlets to the numerous lakes, American industry will remove these obstructions. The military penetration of southern Florida offered the opportunity to map a poorly understood part of the country. Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/L Battery As late as 1823, official reports doubted the existence of a large inland lake, until the military met the Seminoles at the Battle of Lake Okeechobee in 1837.[6] To avenge repeated surprise attacks on himself and ammunition stores, Colonel William Harney led an expedition into the Everglades in 1840, to hunt for a chief named Chekika. With Harney were 90 soldiers in 16 canoes. Sony VAIO PCG-5N1M battery One soldier's account of the trip in theSt. Augustine News was the first printed description of the Everglades available to the general public. The anonymous writer described the hunt for Chekika and the terrain they were crossing: "No country that I have ever heard of bears any resemblance to it; it seems like a vast sea filled with grass and green trees, and expressly intended as a retreat for the rascally Indian, from which the white man would never seek to drive them".[7] Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M battery The final blame for the military stalemate was determined to lie not in military preparation, supplies, leadership, or superior tactics by the Seminoles, but in Florida's impenetrable terrain. An army surgeon wrote: "It is in fact a most hideous region to live in, a perfect paradise for Indians, alligators, serpents, frogs, and every other kind of loathsome reptile."[8] Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/W Battery The land seemed to inspire extreme reactions of wonder or hatred. In 1870, an author described the mangrove forests as a "waste of nature's grandest exhibition to have these carnivals of splendid vegetation occurring in isolated places where it is but seldom they are seen."[9] A band of hunters, naturalists, and collectors ventured through in 1885, taking along with them the 17-year-old grandson of an early resident of Miami. Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/P Battery The landscape unnerved the young man shortly after he entered the Shark River: "The place looked wild and lonely. About three o'clock it seemed to get on Henry's nerves and we saw him crying, he would not tell us why, he was just plain scared."[10] In 1897, an explorer named Hugh Willoughby spent eight days canoeing with a party from the mouth of the Harney River to the Miami River. Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/R Battery He wrote about his observations and sent them back to the New Orleans Times-Democrat. Willoughby described the water as healthy and wholesome, with numerous springs, and 10,000 alligators "more or less" in Lake Okeechobee. The party encountered thousands of birds near the Shark River, "killing hundreds, but they continued to return".[11] Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/L Battery Willoughby pointed out that much of the rest of the country had been mapped and explored except for this part of Florida, writing, "(w)e have a tract of land one hundred and thirty miles long and seventy miles wide that is as much unknown to the white man as the heart of Africa." As early as 1837, a visitor to the Everglades suggested the value of the land without the water: Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/P Battery Could it be drained by deepening the natural outlets? Would it not open to cultivation immense tracts of rich vegetable soil? Could the waterpower, obtained by draining, be improved to any useful purpose? Would such draining render the country unhealthy? ... Many queries like these passed through our minds. They can only be solved by a thorough examination of the whole country. Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/R Battery Could the waters be lowered ten feet, it would probably drain six hundred thousand acres; should this prove to be a rich soil, as would seem probable, what a field it would open for tropical productions! What facilities for commerce![3] Territorial representative David Levy proposed a resolution that was passed in Congress in 1842: "that the Secretary of War be directed to place before this House such information as can be obtained in relation to the practicability and probable expense of draining the everglades of Florida."[3] Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M battery From this directive Secretary of the Treasury Robert J. Walker requested Thomas Buckingham Smith from St. Augustine to consult those with experience in the Everglades on the feasibility of draining them, saying that he had been told two or three canals to the Gulf of Mexico would be sufficient. Smith asked officers who had served in the Seminole Wars to respond, and many favored the idea, promoting the land as a future agricultural asset to the South.Sony VAIO PCG-7171M battery A few disagreed, such as Captain John Sprague, who wrote he "never supposed the country would excite an inquiry, other than as a hiding place for Indians, and had it occurred to me that so great an undertaking, one so utterly impracticable, as draining the Ever Glades was to be discussed, I should not have destroyed the scratch of pen upon a subject so fruitful, Sony PCG-61211M battery and which cannot be understood but by those who have waded the water belly deep and examined carefully the western coast by land and by water."[3] Nevertheless, Smith returned a report to the Secretary of the Treasury asking for $500,000 to do the job.[13] The report is the first published study on the topic of the Everglades, and concluded with the statement: Sony PCG-71213M battery The Ever Glades are now suitable only for the haunt of noxious vermin or the resort of pestilent reptiles. The statesman whose exertions shall cause the millions of acres they contain, now worse than worthless, to teem with the products of agricultural industry; that man who thus adds to the resources of his country ... will merit a high place in public favor, not only with his own generation, but with posterity. He will have created a State![3] Sony PCG-71311M battery Smith suggested cutting through the rim of the Everglades (known today as the Atlantic Coastal Ridge), connecting the heads of rivers to the coastline so that 4 feet (1.2 m) of water would be drained from the area. The result, Smith hoped, would yield farmland suitable for corn, sugar, rice, cotton, and tobacco.[14] In 1850 Congress passed a law that gave several states wetlands within their state boundaries. Sony PCG-71212M battery The Swamp and Overflowed Lands Act ensured that the state would be responsible for funding the attempts at developing wetlands into farmlands.[14] Florida quickly formed a committee to consolidate grants to pay for such attempts, though attention and funds were diverted owing to the Civil War and Reconstruction. Not until after 1877 did attention return to the Everglades. Sony PCG-71313M battery After the Civil War, an agency named the Internal Improvement Fund (IIF), charged with using grant money to improve Florida's infrastructure through canals, rail lines, and roads, was eager to be rid of the debt incurred by the Civil War. IIF trustees found aPennsylvania real estate developer named Hamilton Disston who was interested in implementing plans to drain the land for agriculture. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M battery Disston was persuaded to buy 4,000,000 acres (16,000 km2) of land for $1 million in 1881.[15] The New York Times declared it the largest purchase of land ever by any individual.[16] Disston began building canals near St. Cloud to lower the basin of the Caloosahatchee andKissimmee Rivers. His workers and engineers faced conditions similar to those of the soldiers during the Seminole Wars; Sony VAIO PCG-31112M battery it was harrowing, backbreaking labor in dangerous conditions. The canals seemed at first to work in lowering the water levels in the wetlands surrounding the rivers. Another dredged waterway between the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Okeechobee was built, opening the region to steamboattraffic.[17] Disston's engineers focused on Lake Okeechobee as well. Sony VAIO PCG-31113M battery As one colleague put it, "Okeechobee is the point to attack"; the canals were to be "equal or greater than the inflow from the Kissimmee valley, which is the source of all the evil."[18] Disston sponsored the digging of a canal 11 miles (18 km) long from Lake Okeechobee towards Miami, but it was abandoned when the rock proved denser than the engineers had expected. Sony VAIO PCG-31114M battery Though the canals lowered the groundwater, their capacity was inadequate for the wet season. A report that evaluated the failure of the project concluded: "The reduction of the waters is simply a question of sufficient capacity in the canals which may be dug for their relief".[19] Though Disston's canals did not drain, his purchase primed the economy of Florida. Sony VAIO PCG-31111V battery It made news and attracted tourists and land buyers alike. Within four years property values doubled, and the population increased significantly.[15] One newcomer was the inventor Thomas Edison, who bought a home inFort Myers.[20] Disston opened real estate offices throughout the United States and Europe, and sold tracts of land for $5 an acre, establishing towns on the west coast and in central Florida. English tourists in particular were targeted and responded in large numbers.[21] Sony VAIO PCG-31112V battery Florida passed its first water laws to "build drains, ditches, or water courses upon petition of two or more landowners" in 1893. Due to Disston's purchase, the IIF was able to sponsor railroad projects, and the opportunity presented itself when oil tycoon Henry Flagler became enchanted with St. Augustine during a vacation. He built the opulent Ponce de León Hotel in St. Sony VAIO PCG-31113V battery Augustine in 1888, and began buying land and building rail lines along the east coast of Florida, first from Jacksonville to Daytona, then as far south as Palm Beach in 1893. Flagler's establishment of "the Styx", a settlement for hotel and rail line workers across the river from the barrier island containing Palm Beach, became West Palm Beach.[23] Sony VAIO PCG-31114V battery Along the way he built resort hotels, transforming territorial outposts into tourist destinations and the land bordering the rail lines into citrus farms.[24] The winter of 1894–1895 produced a bitter frost that killed citrus trees as far south as Palm Beach. Miami resident Julia Tuttle sent Flagler a pristine orange blossom and an invitation to visit Miami, to persuade him to build the railroad farther south. Sony VAIO PCG-GRS100 battery Although he had earlier turned her down several times, Flagler finally agreed, and by 1896 the rail line had been extended to Biscayne Bay.[25] Three months after the first train arrived, the residents of Miami, 512 in all, voted to incorporate the town. Flagler publicized Miami as a "Magic City" throughout the United States and it became a prime destination for the extremely wealthy after the Royal Palm Hotel was opened. Sony VAIO PCG-41111M battery Despite the sale of 4,000,000 acres (16,000 km2) to Disston and the skyrocketing price of land, by the turn of the 20th century the IIF was bankrupt due to mismanagement.[27] Legal battles ensued between the State of Florida and the railroad owners about who owned the rights to sell reclaimed land in the Everglades. In 1904 gubernatorial campaigning, the strongest candidate, Sony VAIO PCG-41112M battery Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, made draining the Everglades a major plank. He called the future of south Florida the "Empire of the Everglades" and compared its potential to that of Holland and Egypt: "It would indeed be a commentary on the intelligence and energy of the State of Florida to confess that so simple an engineering feat as the drainage of a body of land above the sea was above their power", he wrote to voters.[28] Sony VAIO PCG-41111V battery Soon after his election, he fulfilled his promise to "drain that abominable pestilence-ridden swamp"[29] and pushed the Florida legislature to form a group of commissioners to oversee reclamation of flooded lands. They began by taxing counties that would be affected by the drainage attempts, at 5 cents an acre, and formed the Everglades Drainage District in 1907.[3] SONY VAIO PCG-6Q1L CPU Fan Broward asked James O. Wright—an engineer on loan to the State of Florida from the USDA's Bureau of Drainage Investigations—to draw up plans for drainage in 1906. Two dredges were built by 1908, but had cut only 6 miles (9.7 km) of canals. The project quickly ran out of money, so Broward sold real estate developer Richard J. Bolles a million dollars worth of land in the Everglades, 500,000 acres (2,000 km2), SAMSUNG N150 Laptop Keyboard before the engineer's report had been submitted.[30] Abstracts from Wright's report were given to the IIF stating that eight canals would be enough to drain 1,850,000 acres (7,500 km2) at a cost of a dollar an acre.[31] The abstracts were released to real estate developers who used them in their advertisements, and Wright and the USDA were pressed by the real estate industry to publicize the report as quickly as possible.[31] HP Pavilion DV9243EA Laptop Keyboard Wright's supervisor noted errors in the report, as well as undue enthusiasm for draining, and delayed its release in 1910. Different unofficial versions of the report circulated—some that had been altered by real estate interests—and a version hastily put together by Senator Duncan U. Fletchercalled U.S. Senate Document 89 included early unrevised statements, causing a frenzy of speculation. FUJITSU Lifebook E8110 Laptop Keyboard Wright's initial report concluded that drainage would not be difficult. Building canals would be more cost effective than constructing a dike around Lake Okeechobee. The soil would be fertile after drainage, the climate would not be adversely affected, and the enormous lake would be able to irrigate farmland in the dry season.[1] Wright based his conclusions on 15 years of weather data since the recording of precipitation began in the 1890s. Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard His calculations concentrated on the towns of Jupiter and Kissimmee. Since weather data had not been recorded for any area within the Everglades, none was included in the report. Furthermore, the heaviest year of rain on record, Wright assumed, was atypical, and he urged that canals should not be constructed to bear that amount of water due to the expense. HP Pavilion DV8310CA Laptop Keyboard Wright's calculations for what canals should be able to hold were off by 55 percent.[32] His most fundamental mistake, however, was designing the canals for a maximum rainfall of 4 inches (10 cm) of water a day, based on flawed data for July and August rainfall, despite available data that indicated torrential downpours of 10 inches (25 cm) and 12 inches (30 cm) had occurred in 24-hour periods.[1]  Lenovo 0A62039 Laptop Keyboard Though a few voices expressed skepticism of the report's conclusions—notably Frank Stoneman, the editor of the Miami News-Record (the forerunner of The Miami Herald)—the report was hailed as impeccable, coming from a branch of the U.S. government.[33] In 1912 Florida appointed Wright to oversee the drainage, and the real estate industry energetically misrepresented this mid-level engineer as the world's foremost authority on wetlands drainage, DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard in charge of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.[1] However, the U.S. House of Representativesinvestigated Wright since no report had officially been published despite the money paid for it. Wright eventually retired when it was discovered that his colleagues disagreed with his conclusions and refused to approve the report's publication. One testified at the hearings:  TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard "I regard Mr. Wright as absolutely and completely incompetent for any engineering work".[34] Governor Broward ran for the U.S. Senate in 1908 but lost. Broward and his predecessor, William Jennings, were paid by Richard Bolles to tour the state to promote drainage. Broward was elected to the Senate in 1910, but died before he could take office.  Lenovo 3000 G530 4151 Laptop Keyboard He was eulogized across Florida for his leadership and progressive inspiration. Rapidly growing Fort Lauderdale paid him tribute by naming Broward County after him (the town's original plan had been to name it Everglades County). Land in the Everglades was being sold for $15 an acre a month after Broward died.[35] Meanwhile, Henry Flagler continued to build railway stations at towns as soon as the populations warranted them. HP G61-400SP Laptop Keyboard News of the Panama Canal inspired him to connect his rail line to the closest deep water port. Biscayne Bay was too shallow, so Flagler sent railway scouts to explore the possibility of building the line through to the tip of mainland Florida. The scouts reported that not enough land was present to build through the Everglades, so Flagler instead changed the plan to build to Key West in 1912. COMPAQ Presario CQ40-133TU Laptop Keyboard Real estate companies continued to advertise and sell land along newly dug canals. In April 1912—the end of the dry season—reporters from all over the U.S. were given a tour of what had recently been drained, and they returned to their papers and raved about the progress.[36] Land developers sold 20,000 lots in a few months. But as news about the Wright report continued to be negative, land values plummeted, and sales decreased. HP 317443-001 Laptop Keyboard Developers were sued and arrested for mail fraud when people who had spent their life savings to buy land arrived in south Florida expecting to find a dry parcel of land to build upon and instead found it completely underwater.[37] Advertisements promised land that would yield crops in eight weeks, but for many it took at least as long just to clear.  HP HDX18-1200 CTO Laptop Keyboard

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