Water Control

Who controls the water? At this point, its a combination between nature and humans. Our goal: To get the water right.

The waterman speaks

What I like best about this pitch:

The waterman’s brashness, optimism and salesmanship.

Coming to a train station near you

Some might even say its a borderline con. But the truth is when it comes to getting people to believe you have to be willing to go out on a limb of what’s possible and why it’s worth the risk. In a modern-day world where improvements to the water happen inch by inch, if at all — isn’t it fun to be swept away in a grand vision where everything can be restored. I’m not saying we’ll get it all back.

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More about the speech: For the longest time I never wrote it down, I just memorized it piece by piece. It’s an amalgam of speeches from several movies.

Ugliest canal you ever saw
The swamp abhors a straight line

There’s something about this canal …

I’ve never liked.

Who says gators like canals?
This one got thwacked on the head
by a high-speed boat

Maybe it has something to do …

With it cutting off California Slough.

Maybe it has something to do with it …

Stealing water from the adjacent swamp from below.

It’s a tough life
being a cypress dome
right by a canal

The only good news:

Latest word is that this canal may get filled in, at least partially.

That’s better than the status quo.

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Tidbit: The L-28 Interceptor is an arm of the Greater L-28 network of levees, canals and structural controls.

Big Cypress Master Plan?
One hydrologist's view

When it comes to master planning …

Everglades Restoration comes to mind, emphasis on Everglades.

What to do with the Big Cypress?

But what’s about the Big Cypress Swamp? Partly because it was marketed as a “self contained” watershed in the early days of its preservation (i.e. it gets all its water from the sky, so it came gift-wrapped already restored) and partly because it lies outside the traditional boundaries of the U.S. Army Corps and South Florida Water Management District’s Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Project and partly because it’s a mysterious place cloaked in a mythology that’s hard to shake, there’s never been a consensus on what should or could be done to get the water right, and why it’s so important for the greater whole.

Until now! In the presentation above, I provide an overview of the Big Cypress Swamp as a sum of its parts and why and where hydrologic restoration may lie ahead.

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Quote: “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” —Henry David Thoreau

Best Water Management Logo in Florida?
And the winner is (drum roll please) ...

You don’t know how difficult logos can be …

Until you try to make one yourself.

Florida’s five districts, plus the agency that unites them all

And now imagine having to make one that measures up to four other like organizations, and also resonates with the greater public interest it serves. Such is the challenge for Florida’s five water management districts. Water management logos are a lot like state flags. They contain subtleties and historical nuances that only an student of the genre or a long time local could fully understand. And I would imagine that each logo has evolved over the years. For all I know, as I type, one of the districts may be tweaking (or completely reinventing) its design. If I had to guess, I would say that the Suwannee’s is the most recently modified, in part because it’s such a departure from the rest — it doesn’t have a state map and in general is more minimalistic than the rest.

Things I like about each one: (1) for Northwest Florida it’s the grove of cypress and stand of long-leaf pine, (2) the Suwannee is its simplicity (and clarity) of color and words, (3) the St Johns River has a decidedly nautical feel, which probably makes sense given how far inland (161 miles from its mouth), (4) for Southwest Florida it has to be the background waves of the gulf, and how it reaffirms that the entire basin feeds the downstream estuaries, and (5) for south Florida is has to be the sun rays reaching out into an expansive yet cloudless sky (I can only assume the river is the Kissimmee).

Last but not least is the sixth: the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. It has general oversight over all five districts. As for which logo is the best, I think they are all interesting in their own ways. Which one I like best might depend on the day, or what district I live.

Aren’t our watersheds a little bit like sports teams? They bring us together as a community to root for the same cause and rally around the same logo. What’s your favorite logo, and why?

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Chronology: The South Florida Water Management District is the oldest of the five, forming in 1949, with the others following in 1977 as a result of the Water Resources Act signed into law by the Florida legislature in 1972.


Short history of the L-28
An old powerpoint, but still timely to share

The problem with the L-28 …

You wont’ find it (adequately) described in the history books.

A narrated power point from 2017

That’s where Go Hydrology steps in to fill the void. You can surf the internet all day long and will (mostly) come up dry when it comes to any literature or relevant information on the modern-day boundary between the Everglades and the Big Cypress called the L-28. The reason? To be honest, I don’t know. It’s one of the most misunderstood and greatest barriers to the effort to restore the Everglades and Big Cypress.

Caveat: I’m not saying this presentation is the best. The power point dates back to 2017, and yes, I could have alternatively let it “collect digital dust” on my computer or just posted the “unnarrated” power point. But really what good would either have done? The better solution was to narrate the power point just as I presented it in 2017. It provides a nice history of the mysterious levee, and goes a long way to unraveling why it was built.

Listening to it in review, I probably should have rehearsed it a time or two, but there is no time like the present and really no excuse not to share, especially when it helps fill the void on a perhaps the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp’s most mysterious levee and canal.

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Misconception: “The L-28 is not the natural boundary between the Big Cypress and Everglades, rather a default line.” Bob says