Published on Oct 16, 2015
This overlay flight shows the following maps:
– 1907 Official Map of the Everglades Patent 137 conveyed to Florida on January 2, 1905
– Map of the Everglades Patent 137 re-recorded in Plat Books of Broward County, originally recorded in Plat Book B, Page 131, Dade County Florida
– 1924-1925 USCGS Maps of the Airplane Survey of Lake Okeechobee
After taking a counterclockwise lap around the shoreline of Lake Okeechobee while viewing the 1925 surveys, we return to South Bay.
Section 2 of Township 44 South, Range 36 East, north of the town of South Bay, was originally under the waters of South Bay. On 12/31/1888 that section was conveyed by TIFF to the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad Company. The area of the Lake is now sugarcane farms.
VIDEO LINK: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJkMOIqjr_I&feature=youtu.be)
Lake Okeechobee used to be a much larger lake. It crested at about 21 feet to fall over an undefined edge of sawgrass and in some areas a pond apple forest.
Since the late 1800s the lake has slowly had its undefined edge pushed back and dammed. The lake perhaps holds about 30% less water than it originally could. Those overflow waters today are plumed to drain into the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee so that the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) can exist. Watch this amazing historic map/Google Earth video created by my brother Todd Thurlow and see for yourself!
South Bay, for instance…Todd explains: “You can see on Google Earth where the canals and levees follow the old shoreline of South Bay, now 5.8 miles from open water, but 2 miles from the rim canal. That Section 2, which was under the bay, was conveyed to the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad Company by TIIF deed on 12/31/1888. It looks like there is a little town there called South Bay…”
I am also including a presentation by the SFWMD’s Dr Christopher McVoy, 2008, about pre-drainage Lake O. Hydrology: (http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/geer2008/Presentation_PDFs/Thursday/Royal%20Palm%20VIII/1040%20C%20McVoy.pdf)
Through understanding history, we understand ourselves.
Todd Thurlow: (http://www.thurlowpa.com)
4 thoughts on “Fly-over of South Bay and the Altered Historic Shoreline of Lake Okeechobee, SLR/IRL”
Jacqui, thanks for the valuable history!
There have been two changes in elevation datum since the 21 ft overflow elevation was surveyed: 1929 & 1988. Those two add up to almost three feet lower elevation than originally thought. I believe the Lake overflowed at around 18+ feet, not 21.
Incidentally, Chris’s name is McVoy, not McVey. I met him several years ago. Excellent scientific mind! He was too good for the SFWMD and was one of the early RIF sufferers. I think he scared the powers that be.
W.E. “Ted” Guy, Jr.
643 SW Fuge Rd
Stuart, Fl 34997
(772) 287-4106 (home)
(772) 485-1866 (cell/car)
Thank you Ted. I fixed McVoy’s spelling. I would have liked to meet him. Appreciate your insights! So 18? Why do you think so…
Hi Jacqui, your brother’s video reminded me of this short film about the Caloosahatchee and ACOE. The St. Lucie canal is mentioned often, too:
Thank you so much. What a great series of educational videos! Thank you for sharing and showing me. Will watch. Esp. interested in the the lake o one.