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A Partners In Planning Publication of the                       

Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission

Winter 2010/11

eNews Issue 1

Did you know? 

The Hillsborough River begins in the Green Swamp area of Pasco and Polk Counties, as do three other rivers - the Withlacoochee, Peace and Ocklawaha.  At certain times of the year the Hillsborough River is actually an overflow of the Withlacoochee River.  From its headwaters, the Hillsborough River flows in a southwesterly direction for approximately 54 miles and empties into Hillsborough Bay.  During the dry season, the river's flow is mainly sustained by flow from Crystal Springs, located in Pasco County.

 River in Temple Terrace



















This river is an important natural resource that drains approximately 690 square miles.  As the Hillsborough River runs its course, it bisects Hillsborough County. The river passes through various landscapes, ranging from natural (rural), to suburban, to urban settings, and through three jurisdictions: unincorporated Hillsborough County, the City of Temple Terrace and the City of Tampa.

In this issue...
Welcome new TAC members!
Introducing our newest Board member!
River is rich in history
What's floating down the river?
USGS Charts
Call for entries!

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For more information on the Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board & Technical Advisory Council, please contact staff at 813.272.5940 or visit us on the web:



Welcome new TAC members!

Ray YoungThe Technical Advisory Council (TAC) has two new members. The Planning Commission has appointed contractor Ray Young to serve as its representative on the Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board's Technical Advisory Council.  Managing Director of Ray Young, LLC, Young is a fourth generation Hillsborough County resident and Past President of the Plant City Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Air Conditioning Contractors Association.


 11.1 Dr Rich Brown








The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners has appointed Dr. Richard Brown as its citizen representative to the TAC.  Dr. Brown has degrees in both Engineering and Psychology and is a member of the Florida Engineering Society.  Dr. Brown, who has resided on the Hillsborough River for 23 years, is a long standing member of the Friends of the River and the River Roundtable.

Introducing our newest River Board member!

CapinThe Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board is proud to announce that Tampa Councilwoman Yolie Capin will now represent the City of Tampa on the River Board.  Generations of her family have lived and worked in Tampa.  Councilwoman Capin's mother and father were born in Tampa; her grandmother was born in Tampa, and her great-grandmother was born in Key West.  Councilwoman Capin attended Thomas Jefferson High School and was in the first graduating class of Leto High School.  She was a member of the charter class of Hillsborough Community College and attended the University of Tampa. She is a retired, small businesswoman, self-employed all her adult life.  Councilwoman Capin started her first business at age 21 and by age 26 had opened her first jewelry store at a regional mall.  She currently serves as a Board member of The Spring of Tampa Bay and previously served on the board of the Ybor City State Museum, the Executive Committee for Hillsborough Community College's Festival of the Moving Image and Co-Curator of International Art Works at the Hillsborough Community College Gallery.  As a City Council member, she chairs the Transportation Committee and serves on the Streetcar Board, Public Transportation Commission and the Council of Governments.  She is married to Juan R. Capin and has one daughter, Jessica Lynn, who is married to Mark Dion.

River is rich in history

In 1757, a survey of the Hillsborough River was done by Don Francisco Maria Celi, pilot of the Spanish Royal Fleet.  He ventured up to the Temple Terrace area in search of longleaf pine to use as masts for his ships.  He named the pine forest of the area "El Pinal de la Cruz de Santa Teresa" or "The Pines of the Cross of Saint Teresa".  There is a plaque commemorating his exploration at Riverhills Park in Temple Terrace.

1757 Map

This illustrated map of the Temple Terrace area was found with the log book of Spanish explorer,

Don Francisco Maria Celi, and dates from around 1757.


What's floating down the Hillsborough River? 

water hyacinth

Late last summer, many using the river noticed numerous mats of plants floating down the river.  This is typically water hyacinths.  Water hyacinths are a free-floating perennial aquatic plants native to tropical and sub-tropical South America. With broad, thick, glossy, ovate leaves, water hyacinth may rise above the surface of the water as much as 1 meter in height. The leaves are 10-20 cm across, and float above the water surface.  They have long, spongy and bulbous stalks.  The feathery, freely hanging roots are purpleblack.  An erect stalk supports a single spike of 8-15 conspicuously attractive flowers, mostly lavender to pink in color with six petals.


One of the fastest growing plants known, water hyacunth reproduces primarily by way of runners or stolons, which eventually form daughter plants.  It also produces large quantities of seeds, and these are viable up to thirty years.  The common water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) are vigorous growers known to double their population in two weeks.  Water hyacinth has been widely introduced throughout North America, Asia, Australia and Africa.  In many areas, it is a pernicious invasive species.  First introduced to North America in 1884, an estimated 50 kilograms per square meter of hyacinth once choked Florida's waterways; although, it is now largely under control.  When not controlled, water hyacinth will cover lakes and ponds entirely.  This dramatically impacts water flow, blocks sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants, and starves the water of oxygen, often killing fish or turtles.  The plants also create a prime habitat for mosquitoes, the classic vectors of disease, and a species of snail known to host a parasitic flatworm which causes schistosomiasis (snail fever).  Water hyacinth is often problematic in man-made ponds if uncontrolled, but can also can provide a food source for gold fish, keep water clean, and help to provide oxygen.


The State of Florida has an invasive aquatic weed control program.  The Florida Department of Environmental Protection contracts with Hillsborough County's Mosquito Control to apply herbicide in public waterways to control water hyacinth and other invasive aquatic weeds.

USGS Charts

  11.1 Precip

 11.1 Discharge

11.1 Gage


Call for Entries for the Planning Commission's

29th Annual Community Design Awards 

29th Annual Community Design Awards 

The Planning Commission is currently soliciting entires for its 29th Annual Community Design Awards Program.  Deadline for entries is March 4th 2011.  Winning projects serve as models to learn from and emulate in planning, urban infill, historic preservation/restoration, environmental, transportation, public participation and green development.  The Community Design Awards is a well-respected program honoring the very best in planning and community design in Hillsborough County.

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In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other nondiscrimination laws, public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status.