To the undiscerning eye,
Barron River Canal may not look like much.
Looking North at East Hinson Marsh
After all, it’s not all that big or deep, and it sort of blends in with the scenery. But also consider it cuts through the confluence — or shall we say heart — of the swamp’s largest flow way: the fork in the cypress where Okaloacoochee Slough feeds into Fakahatchee Strand to the west and splinters into East Hinson Marsh to the east. The result? Instead of following the natural flow way the water v-lines south down the canal and out to tide. And that’s just the summer wet season. During the winter half the situation is just as bad (even worse), with the canal continuing to drain water out from under the swamp even after surface waters have run dry, opening the window for hard-to-control large fire events. The bigger question is this: What’s the purpose of having a contiguous Big Cypress Cypress National Preserve, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and Fakahatchee Strand State Park if they are isolated from one another and drained by a road and canal corridor?
Time is nigh to finally fix the swamp’s most central flow way.