The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 10, 1968 · Page 108
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November 10, 1968

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 108

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West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 10, 1968
Page:
Page 108
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Page 108 article text (OCR)

H 6 Palm Beach Post-Times, Sunday, Nov. 10, 1968 FCD Progressing Toward 'Total Water Management m!m r t. . vT .---3 t Jit ii jpol ii yy w kav t- V i"H IL " v k - -r-' - 1 N erglades National Park, which attracts about a million more visitors per year. A free booklet, "Recreation In the Everglades," has been published by the District. It includes maps and charts of canals, boat ramps, picnic sites and concession areas. Copies are available on request to the FCD, Post Office Box 1671, West Palm Beach, 33402. Since the creation of the state agency in 1949, the population within its boundaries has soared from 800,000 to 2& million. There are predictions of a population of about 10 million persons along the lower east coast within several more decades. Without water control, cities like West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami could not exist as they are constituted today. And without more control and more conservation, the expected growth of cities, farms, and industries would be drastically curtailed. The work goes on the construction of more pumping stations, more canals and levees the creation of more conservation areas the purchase and preservation of more wilderness lands. All this Is paving the way for a future balance between conservation and orderly progress. vented in years like 1960, 1966, and In 1968 to date. This year, in May and June, rainfall in south Florida broke all previous records for any 60-day period. But homes were not flooded. In comparison to flood conditions in 1947, when five million acres were inundated, something was obviously working correctly in 1968. In the latest testimony to Congress concerning the Flood Control District, it is reported that benefits averaging $82 million per year are being realized from this effort. These benefits are broken down to Include prevention of flood damage, increased use of land, public recreation, navigation, and preservation and enhancement of fish and wildlife. In the field of public recreation, the water management agency is creating a real bonanza for fishermen, boaters, campers, hikers and people who just like to "get away from It all" In a natural wilderness environment. Last yeapmore than a million persons visited Lake Okeechobee for recreation, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The Army uses traffic counters and visual checks to record the number of visitors to the lake. The big lake, which covers 730 square miles, is the liquid heart of the FCD. In southern Florida, more than 750,000 persons visited conservation areas of the Flood Control District last year. These areas are combination water storage, wilderness and wildlife lands. Located In the interior of Palm Beach, Broward and Dade Counties, they comprise almost 50 per cent of the original Everglades. Just south of the Conservation Areas is the Ev- By TOM HL'SER 1uk5ut In recent years articles about droughts and floods in Florida have made headlines in newspapers and magazines across America. Alligators have been pictured In drying water holes one season. Deer have been photographed in deep water another season. But what is being done about these problems is something else. A state agency, headquartered In West Palm Beach, is taking aggressive actions to curb flooding and minimize drought. The main objective of the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District is "total water management," according to Robert W. Pa-drlck, chairman of the District's Governing Board. Padrick, a well-known conservationist who has a Chevrolet dealership in Fort Pierce, has said his goal Is to 'make the terms "conservation" and "Flood Control District" synonymous. To date, more than $200,000,-000 In federal, state, and local money have been invested to build levees, canals, pumping stations, spillways, dams, and conservation areas to cope with the natural phenomena, too much rainfall one season, too little another. While the total project for 18 counties in Florida is still only a little more than 50 per cent complete, results are already very promising. Records of the U.S. Geological Survey show that the FCD has more than doubled the flow of water into Everglades National Park, in a comparison of the two 12-year periods since the start of record keeping In late 1939. Major flooding has been pre I" .T 1 ' M urn . MlllllMIII ii l II ill Construction Of Boat Locks Control District Projects OOO THIS IS THE PLACE! Conservation Board Is Doing A Big Job By EDGOGGINS ' The State Conservation Board, a branch of the State Police, Is in operation to make salt water sports fun and lasting. Board members, who have i all the powers of regular state 'policemen, concentrate these-powers In the beach and shore areas. Their main job is to protect fish and plant life from the"overeager." The "overeager" are those sportsmen or fishermen who , would catch more than their limit of fish, or take shellfish from polluted areas. The first offense can run a species Into extinction, and the second could cause someone's poisoning. Many fish that afford both good eating and a good fight, such as the snapper, are so plentiful that a person can catch as many as he pleases. Others, like the sailflsh, have a limit of two a day. But who wants to catch more than two sailflsh a day anyway? Another part of the board's job is to keep the seas stocked wllh turtles. Every year during the period when the turtles come ashore to bury their eggs In the sand, board members patrol the beach especially at night to keep per sons from making off with the eggs or a turtle. As far as plant life Is concerned, the conservation board has laboratories for research In that area. One of the main problems facing conservationists is the slowing down or clogging of canals and other waterways, meant for fishing and transportation, with wild sea plants. Sgt. R.C. Byrd of the conservation board assures all private and commercial fishermen that things will work out if everybody abides by the law. And, as always, "ignorance" of the law Is no excuse. The board, with local offices, Is always ready to inform you as to what you may or may not do concerning salt water sports or occupations. The board also registers all boats and handles the acquirement of fishing & seafood restaurant licenses. All In all, the board has the laborious job of keeping an eye on the amounts of certain fish and shellfish, that there are In certain areas, and making sure that there are enough to go around for commercial fisheries, sportsmen and tourists. 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