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USF Libraries Exhibits

Tampa Bay fresh water lake plan


Reynolds, Smith and Hills. Tampa Bay Freshwater Lake Study: Engineering Feasibilty Report. Jacksonville, [Fla.]: Author, 1963.

The postwar population boom transformed the physical landscape of Florida as the state’s population increased from less than 2 million inhabitants in 1940 to almost 16 million in 2000.  Waterfront acreage sold at a premium price in the state and the impetus by developers and politicians to create more drove the proliferation of building projects. Part of the Upper Tampa Bay Watershed reclamation called for the creation of a freshwater lake by damming the salt-water area north of the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Safety Harbor. Although engineers justified the lake as a way to increase drinking water supplies and reduce saline intrusion into the aquifer, one of the major justifications for the project concluded that land values would appreciate in value due to the stabilization of the shoreline.