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1961 Cross-Florida Barge Canal

EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF THE CROSS-FLORIDA BARGE CANAL AS IF YOU WERE A STATE LEGISLATOR AT THE TIME. THEN DECIDE IF YOU WOULD BE THE CANAL OR NOT!
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Historic Capitol

on 9 January 2013

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Transcript of 1961 Cross-Florida Barge Canal

The Cross Florida Barge Canal The Equal Rights Amendment Opportunity Scholarship Program You get to decide if Florida should build a man-made waterway across the state. It will connect the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. This canal would allow barges to move goods and
people more quickly
and safely. 1961 1982 1999 You get to decide if Florida should ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA would guarantee men and women equal rights. Thirty-five states have already ratified the amendment. If Florida does too,
it would set the stage for it to
be added to the U.S.
Constitution. You get to decide if Florida should provide "Opportunity Scholarships" to students in failing public schools. These scholarships would provide funds for these students
to go to a better public school or
private school. This program is
one part of former Governor
Jeb Bush's A+ Education
Plan. Choose the proposed legislation YOU would like to learn about and debate! Now, you'll have to decide if you believe this public works project is a wise choice for the state! Question 2:
Would the canal improve trade and help businesses in Florida and the country? Rep. Pro Rep. Con The canal will bring jobs and business to the state. The Army Corps of Engineers estimates that the canal will pay for itself and grow the economy by over $17 million. Barges will help businesses sell large items across this country and the world.
Check out this video for more information! Of course, building anything costs money. But this canal will cost the federal government over $350 million! That is a lot of money to spend when we already have railroads and highways
in the state to serve the same purpose as
this canal. In my opinion, the help to
businesses will be very small and
not worth the cost of
building. WHAT
DO YOU
THINK? Question 1:
Would the canal help our military, especially if the country had to go to war? Rep. Con Rep. Pro Sure, the canal would give our military a safer route than the one near Cuba. Is that protection
really worth the canal’s $350 million price tag? WHAT
DO YOU
THINK? WHAT
DO YOU
THINK? Rep. Pro Rep. Con We have studied this canal for centuries. The canal
will only be 12-feet deep to make sure saltwater does not mix with the drinking water. It will also help
control floods and store water in times of drought.
This waterway will provide Florida's farmers with a
cheaper way to get their crops to markets.
On top of all that, this canal will provide new
waterways and lakes for fishing, boating,
and camping. Let's stop studying
the canal. Let's actually build it! Many residents are still worried that the canal might ruin Florida’s freshwater supply. They are also worried that saltwater might get into rivers. This would hurt both fishing and wildlife. I would recommend looking more closely at the negative effects this
canal might cause to our state’s
natural wonders. Once built, the
canal cannot be undone! Question 4:
Will the canal improve the state and nation's transportation system? Rep. Con Rep. Pro Being able to cheaply and safely move goods builds a strong economy. That is why the government builds roads and canals and manages air traffic. In the 1820s, the Erie Canal connected the Atlantic Ocean
to the Great Lakes. It made New York City the
number one port in the country. New York City
is still the U.S.’s biggest city today! If we
make a quicker, safer route between the
Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico,
think of what it can do for
Florida! A good economy comes from wise decisions. But, this canal will serve the same purpose as the public interstate highways and private railroads. Can you explain to me why our government
should spend a lot of money on a
canal that is not really
needed? Question 3:
How will the canal affect Florida's natural resources and agriculture? President John F. Kennedy
"The new Russian menace makes a Florida canal a vital link in the national transportation system." President Kennedy George Smathers
U.S. Senator from Florida Florida Governor LeRoy Collins This map shows the proposed route for the Cross-Florida Barge Canal. Look carefully at the map. Try to notice the cities that will be connected by the canal. Also notice the state’s natural features, some of which may be changed during the canal’s construction.

This canal route is 171 miles long. It follows as many of the natural waterways as possible. By doing this, costs will be brought down and it will help conserve the environment. But, 32-miles of land would still need to be dredged to form the canal and two rivers would have to be dammed. “I regard it not only as important to Florida but to the economy of the entire country, which must fully utilize all our national resources
if we are to achieve necessary
economic expansion.” After hearing how the barge canal might affect trade and business in Florida... Definition Commerce is the exchange of goods between different countries or different regions within the same country. For example, a lot of orange juice is made in Florida. Then it's shipped and sold to grocery stores all over the United States and other countries. This is commerce. Definition Communism is a type of government. Under communism, all resources, like factories and farms, are not owned by private companies or people. Instead, they are owned by the public or the government. Money is divided among citizens equally.

During the 1960s, the United States was fighting a "Cold War" against communist countries worldwide. These countries, including Cuba, were led by the Soviet Union. During World War II, many U.S. ships were sunk
by enemy submarines. We have the communist country of Cuba threatening our shores. This canal will provide a safe route for the military to move troops and supplies between the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean during any war.
Look at the map to see the benefits! Congressman Overton Brooks After hearing about how helpful the canal could be for the
U.S. military... Notice how close Cuba is to Florida. Does Rep. Pro have a good point? Definition Definition Natural resources are items that come from the environment that humans use for their benefit. These include many things, from oil and minerals, to fresh water and air. They even include things like seafood. Agriculture is the growing of plants and raising of animals for human use. It often refers to farming and livestock. But, it can also include lumber, shellfish, and even solar energy. The government is usually in charge of building canals because projects like these cost a lot of money up front. However, building them can help create new industries, jobs, and better living conditions. Most importantly, these public works projects
often offer long-term benefits and use for the general public. As a state legislator, your job
will be to listen to all the arguments and then decide if the project is in the best long-term interests of the State of Florida.

If you decide it's a good idea, then the U.S. Congress will decide if it's in the best interest of the rest of the country, since the federal government will be
providing the money for it! Public works projects cost a lot of money and
often affect the environment. The
government's goal is to pick good
projects. If they are good, they will
provide more benefits to the citizens
in the long run than the project will cost them
at the beginning. Elected officials
must also decide if the benefits to
the public will outweigh the cost
and risk to the environment. Bridges, parks, roads, dams, sidewalks, railroads, schools, hospitals, beaches, power plants, airports, and power lines are all public works projects.

National, state, and local governments
all provide different public works for its citizens. Why is the government in charge of building a canal? Spanish explorers searched and searched for a river that crossed Florida. This was because all around South Florida were dangerous coral reefs that caused many shipwrecks!
But, the explorers never found
a route across the state... The Erie Canal was
built in New York in 1825.
Many new businesses sprung up along the canal’s route. Seeing this, Florida legislators asked the U.S. Congress for money to build a canal across Florida! The Erie Canal did wonders for New York. It connected New York City to the Great Lakes, making New York City the #1 port in the country in 1850. Using barges on the canal reduced shipping-times by a factor of 3 and shipping costs for heavy materials by a factor of 20!
As you can see in the painting above, horses pulled the barges upstream
in the Erie Canal's early years. Later, barges used diesel engines to
travel through the canal. 1500s 1800s Mid-1930s The idea for a canal was brought up again
during the Great Depression. It was seen by many
as a good way to provide jobs to Floridians. Image from http://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans/eng/ch2en/conc2en/eriecanal.html The plan was to build a 30-foot deep, 250-foot wide ship canal across the state. Some residents worried that a deep canal would allow saltwater to mix with the underground freshwater. This would ruin the water needed for drinking and watering crops. But, the project ran out of money with only 3% of it finished. Definition The Great Depression was a worldwide low point in economic activity. It began in 1929 and lasted about 10 years. Many people lost their jobs, homes, and life-savings. This picture is of the work done during that
time, so you can see what a canal
might look like! During World War II,
German submarines sunk many
U.S. ships near the Florida coast. Early 1940s Ships transporting oil were a favorite target of the Germans because the U.S. used that oil to power its vehicles, boats, and airplanes
needed to fight the war! The U.S. Congress wanted to give
American ships more protection during the
war. So, they approved the construction of a
canal across the state in 1942. Critics of this plan argued that because of the war, there
was not enough money, building materials, and men needed to
build the canal. Probably for these reasons, Congress never appropriated enough money for the project... Definition To appropriate is to assign or set aside money. This is the term usually used by Congress or a legislature. It describes the amount of money given to a particular department, program, or project.

FYI: Claude Pepper (who's flying the plane) was a U.S. Senator from Florida who supported the canal. 1. Was the Miami Herald for or against the canal? This Cartoon ran in the Miami Herald on July 6, 1942. The newspaper sent a copy of the cartoon to every member of Congress. ...the Cold War is in full swing. American shippers are worried
about their safety as they pass by Florida because Cuba (an
ally of the Soviet Union) is located only 90 miles away. Now, in 1961... Definition The Cold War (1945-1991) consisted of political and military tensions between western countries and communist countries. The West was led by the United States, while the Communists were led by the Soviet Union. The new proposal uses the same 1930s route. But instead of being 30 ft. deep, this one will only be 12 ft. due to past worries of saltwater mixing with the valuable fresh water. History of the Cross-Florida Canal The idea of building a canal across Florida is very old. It is good to know its history before you hear the proposed legislation! So, here is a little background information… BONUS! 2. Why would the Miami Herald send the cartoon to U.S. Congressmen? Questions So, what are the specifics? You can click the map and zoom in to get a better view! This centuries-old idea is simple:
The canal will bring new business opportunities to Florida since it can help ship items more quickly, safely, and cheaply.
This video explains... The bill you will be taking up as state legislators in Florida is called a memorial. If approved, the memorial will be sent to the U.S. Congress. It will tell Congress that Florida's lawmakers approve of the canal. It would also ask them to provide federal funding to build it. Definitions To dredge is to move underwater dirt to create a path for boats to travel through waterways such as canals, bays, and rivers. Dredging is often done with heavy machines.

To dam is to block the flow of water in the river. Because of this, a lake forms on one side of the dam. A dam can affect the speed that the river flows at further upstream as well. More Information
REMEMBER! A bill has to make its way through legislative committees that look at the bill from different perspectives. What happens at a committee meeting?
Committee members call experts
and public officials to speak about
the merits of a bill. Citizens can also share their opinions with their elected representatives and speak at these meetings! Next you will hear questions that might
be posed in the different legislative committees. Representative Pro will answer these questions by giving the main arguments for supporting this memorial. Representative Con will answer the questions by giving the main arguments against it. Pay close attention to
their arguments. Then think
about your own opinion now
that you are well-informed
about the proposed bill, too! For several hundred years, people have hoped for a quicker, safer route between the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.

Should this route finally become a reality?
“The proposed barge canal construction of locks would maintain the groundwater level of the area adjacent to the canal... [It] has none of the inherent dangers present in the formerly proposed sea level ship
canal... [and will help Florida's] underground
freshwater resources by serving as a
conservation and flood-control
measure.” Now that you have heard how
the canal might help or hurt agriculture and natural
resources in the state... State Geologist Robert Vernon EXPERT TESTIMONY EXPERT TESTIMONY EXPERT TESTIMONY Then, an Expert Witness will also give his or her input on the proposal! WHAT
DO YOU
THINK?
“Within four years of its completion, the Cross Florida Canal will carry as much tonnage as is now carried on the
Suez Canal." Florida Secretary of State Tom Adams Now that you have learned about how the canal could make the state and nation’s transportation system better... EXPERT TESTIMONY Now you understand the idea behind the canal. But, you might be asking yourself... For instance, committees for the barge canal might study:
How the canal might help businesses in the state
How the canal could make the state's transportation system better
How the canal would have an impact on the local environment and farming
How the canal would be used by the military More Information The Suez Canal is a canal that connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. This canal lets ships travel between Europe and Asia without having to go around Africa. In the 1960s, roughly 58 ships used the canal each day. In a year, ships carried about 274 million tons through the Suez Canal! Image Source:
http://geography.howstuffworks.com/africa/the-suez-canal1.htm You know the canal’s history. You have heard the current proposal. And, you have also listened to some of the main arguments for and against this Cross-Florida Barge Canal... Once the memorial makes it through all of the committees it will go to the floor to be debated. Then, you'll have a chance to debate this bill on the floor of the state's historic House of Representatives!
That’s where you can tell everyone why you do or do not support the Cross-Florida Barge Canal memorial! COMMERCE & TRADE COMMITTEE MILITARY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE TRANSPORTATION & TRAFFIC COMMITTEE Let's take a look at some other public works projects, so you'll get a better idea of what they are...
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