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Record Group Number: 000560
Series/Collection Number: .S 2689
Creator: Canal Authority of the State of Florida.
Title, Dates: Cross Florida Barge Canal central program administrative files, 1892-1993, bulk 1950-1990.
Amount: 38.50 cubic ft.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Organized into 7 subseries:
  Subseries 1, Meeting Files, 4.75 cubic ft.
  Subseries 2, Correspondence, 4.50 cubic ft.
  Subseries 3, Financial Records, 5.25 cubic ft.
  Subseries 4, Administrative Ledgers, 8 cubic ft.
  Subseries 5, Contract Files, 5 cubic ft.
  Subseries 6, Subject Files, 7.50 cubit ft.
  Subseries 7, History Files, 3.50 cubic ft.

Arranged by record type, alphabetically and/or chronologically within subseries; see series description for specific arrangements.
Restrictions: RESTRICTED: Box 61 is RESTRICTED containing confidential/exempt records separated from other boxes. Redacted copies have been placed in original record locations where possible.
Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:     The Canal Authority was originally established by the State Legislature in 1933 (Ch. 16176, Laws of Florida) as the Ship Canal Authority of the State of Florida.  Its purpose was to acquire the land and equipment necessary to build and operate a shipping canal across the peninsula of Florida.  A connection between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico had long been a goal of Florida's industrial and agricultural interests.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction in September 1935 under President Roosevelt's allocation of $5 million in Emergency Relief Funds.  However, Congress refused to allocate additional funds for the project, and construction halted when funds ran out in June 1936.  Congressional support for a cross-Florida canal grew during World War II, and on July 23, 1942, President Roosevelt signed federal legislation authorizing construction of a cross-state lock barge canal.  However, once again no funding was authorized for the project, and no progress was made.

    Interest in a cross-state canal revived in the 1950s as barge transportation on America's inland waterways increased.  In 1961, the State Legislature re-authorized the Canal Authority, renaming it the Canal Authority of the State of Florida and placing it administratively under the Board of Conservation (61-244, Laws). The Canal Authority transferred to the Department of Natural Resources when that department was created in 1969 (Ch. 69-106, Laws).

    Construction on the canal began in February 1964.  Repeated underfunding of the project caused significant delays, and growing opposition by conservation and other interests finally resulted in President Nixon calling a halt to construction in 1971, with work on about 25 miles of canal completed or under way.  In 1972 Congress directed the Corps of Engineers to reexamine the environmental, economic, and engineering aspects of the project.  In 1977 the Corps recommended that the project not continue.  Final federal and state deauthorization bills were passed in 1990, and Florida's Governor and Cabinet passed a resolution agreeing to the deauthorization in January 1991.  The Canal Authority continued in existence to advise and assist in developing land management plans for the lands acquired for the canal.


Summary:   This series is comprised of records that reflect the overarching administrative functions of the Cross Florida Barge Canal project. Documentation spans from the inception of the Canal Authority of the State of Florida in 1933 and the Florida Ship Canal Navigation District in 1935 to the project's 1991 deauthorization and subsequent transfer to the Florida Department of Natural Resources, a predecessor agency to the Department of Environmental Protection. Seven main administrative subseries exist within this series: meeting files, correspondence, financial records, administrative ledgers, contract files, subject files, and history files.

  The meeting files include agendas, minutes and meeting specific supporting documents. All meeting files are arranged chronologically.

  The correspondence subseries details general activities, events and issues handled throughout the project. Three distinct methods of organization are apparent within this portion of records: creator based, subject based and date based. This original system of arrangement remains intact within the files.

  The financial records consist of audits, financial statements, accounting books, and other supporting documents. The frequency of audits shows the hands-on management style of the State of Florida in terms of making sure all Cross Florida Barge Canal financial undertakings were justified and accounted for. As a result, the audits act as a well-organized year-in-review summary of the financial activities of the Ship Canal Authority and the Canal Navigation District when available.

  The administrative ledgers subseries include data on Canal Authority and Canal Navigation District operations as well as canal specific data logs on Buckman Lock, St. Johns Lock and Rodman Dam.

  The contract files include contracts arranged by a United States Army Corps of Engineers job number, a job location, or a job name as well as bid documents and consultant files. Records provide information on public and private sector involvement with Cross Florida Barge Canal planning and construction beyond the Corps of Engineers, Canal Authority and Canal Navigation District specific undertakings.

  The subject files are arranged either alphabetically or by United States Army Corps of Engineers control number and speak to the many issues and challenges of an endeavor as far-reaching as the Cross Florida Barge Canal. Of particular interest are the files on the deauthorization of the project.

  The history files are comprised mainly of newspaper and magazine clippings. These files give a good overview of the media and citizen perception of the project from creation and construction to deauthorization.

  It is important to note that another series of Cross Florida Barge Canal administrative files (S1727) exists. Though both series are similar in content and function, this series was kept separate to reflect the Department of Environmental Protection's custodial history of the records after the dissolution of the Canal Authority. Series 1727 was transferred to the State Archives in May 1998 after having met its retention, while the Department of Environmental Protection continued to maintain the records that make up Series 2689 until transferred to the State Archives in April 2014 as part of a larger accession of Cross Florida Barge Canal project files.

Finding Aids: Folder listing available. 0
Additional Physical Form:
Reproduction Note:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Associated Materials: Other records relating to the Cross Florida Barge Canal can be found in Record Group 550: Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Language Notes:
Ownership/Custodial History:
Publication Note:
General Note:
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Canal Authority of the State of Florida.
United States. Army.  --Corps of Engineers.
Florida. Dept. of Environmental Protection.
Florida. Legislature.
Canals Florida
Public lands Florida
Conservation of natural resources Florida
Land use Florida
Business records. aat
Agendas. aat
Articles. aat
Audio tapes. aat
Audits. aat
Contracts. aat
Financial records. aat
Ledgers. aat
Letters. aat
Minutes. aat
Newsletters. aat
Personnel records. aat
Reports. aat
Tallahassee (Fla.)
Oklawaha (Fla.)
Oklawaha River (Fla.)
Citrus County (Fla.)
Putnam County (Fla.)
Marion County (Fla.)
Levy County (Fla.)
Ocklawaha, Lake (Fla.)
Ocala (Fla.)
Eureka Lock (Fla.)
Rodman Reservoir (Fla.)
St. Johns Lock (Fla.)
Inglis Lock (Fla.)
Added Entries Florida. Dept. of Environmental Protection.