Hillsborough River News

   A Partners In Planning Publication of

   The Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board &

   The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission   


eNews Issue 13  

Winter 2014  


In This Issue

River Board Requests Delay
Habitat Restoration
Mayor's Hour
Navigation Channel
Green Swamp
Water Restrictions
Members Round Up
USGS Charts

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Upcoming Meetings

2014 Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board Meeting Dates:


Monday, February 24

Tuesday, May 20 (With TAC)

Monday, August 25

Monday, December 8 


Unless otherwise noted on the website all River Board meetings will be held at 9:30 a.m. at

Temple Terrace City Hall
(City Council Conference Room) 11250 North 56th St, Temple Terrace, FL 33617

2014 Hillsborough River Technical Advisory

Council (TAC)

Meeting Dates:


Tuesday, January 21

Tuesday, February 18

Tuesday, March 18

Tuesday, April 15

Tuesday, May 20

(With River Board)

Tuesday, June 17

Tuesday, August 19

Tuesday, September 16

Tuesday, October 21

Tuesday, November 18



All TAC meetings will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Southwest Florida Water Management District's Tampa Service Center (Laurel Oaks Room)

7601 US Hwy 301, Tampa, FL 33637


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







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River Facts      

(1772) A map drawn and sent to the Earl of Hillsborough, English Governor of West Florida, shows the river named as the Hillsborough. During the mid and late 18th century, Native Americans from the north, mostly Creek (American Indians), begin to migrate to Florida. These immigrants become known as Seminoles.


(1821) Florida becomes a United States territory.

(1824) Construction of Fort  

 Brooke begins at the mouth of the Hillsborough River.

(1828) The Fort King Military Road (now State Road 41) is built to connect Fort King in Ocala with Fort Brooke in what was then the settlement of Tampa. A bridge is built to cross the Hillsborough.

River Board requests delay in Blue Sink

pumping permit

Aerial Map of Blue Sink

In an ongoing effort to provide minimum flows for the lower Hillsborough River, while allowing continued optimal use of the City of Tampa Reservoir in the middle river, the City of Tampa applied for a Water Use Permit from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) to pump water from a sinkhole in the Forrest Hills area called Blue Sink. However, the permit was scheduled to be approved just weeks before an important environmental monitoring report regarding the minimum flow effort for the lower Hillsborough River was expected. It is for this reason, the River Board at its December 10, 2013 regular meeting, voted unanimously to ask SWFWMD to delay issuing the permit until the science from this report could be evaluated. Despite this request, the SWFWMD Governing Board approved the permit at its meeting on December 17, 2013.



River Board applauds CF Industries habitat restoration

CF Industries, a phosphate company with operations in Northeast Hillsborough County proximate to the Hillsborough River, recently executed a land swap with Hillsborough County.This swap provided an opportunity for expansion of their facility and provided the county with valuable natural areas. CF Industries also is providing habitat restoration. At their December 10, 2013 regular meeting, the River Board voted unanimously to endorse this important project.


The Mayor's Hour focuses on the Hillsborough River

Mayor Buckhorn and co-host Jack Harris explore the vibrant Hillsborough River this month on CTTV's "The Mayor's Hour." Learn from the experts what it takes to keep this resource healthy for our residents:

Watch the video


Tampa Riverwalk work requires narrowing of navigation channel

Tampa Tribune - Reporter: Kwiatrowski


A bill pending in Congress will narrow the official navigation in the Hillsborough River south of Kennedy Boulevard by half in the area where the Tampa Riverwalk is now under construction. Tampa Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor inserted the single paragraph shrinking the channel into the

2013 Water Resources Reform Development Act,  

which provides a to-do list of water projects for the Army Corps of Engineers.


The measure narrows the federal channel from Kennedy Boulevard south to the mouth of the river from 200 feet - its width since 1899 - to 100 feet, bringing it in line with the channel north of the Kennedy Boulevard bridge.


Crews are now driving pilings into the river bottom to support the next phase of the Riverwalk, which will skirt the surface of the river along the eastern bank between Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and MacDill Park. The $10 million leg of the Riverwalk runs just outside the 200-foot navigation channel and won't be affected if the water projects bill fails to pass the Senate, said Ali Glisson, spokeswoman for Mayor Bob Buckhorn.


Narrowing the channel will make room for economic development south of Kennedy, Glisson said. "For instance, if a property owner south of Kennedy wanted to add docks to their property, today, those docks might interfere with the channel. Once the bill is passed, they wouldn't," she said. 

Riverwalk planned by six Tampa Mayors
Current Mayor Bob Buckhorn, with five past Mayor's of the City of Tampa, celebrate the opening of the Tampa Riverwalk in 2011.

Source:Tampa Tribune

River Board urges DEP not to surplus Great Green Swamp land  

Great Green Swamp
The Great Green Swamp feeds the Hillsborough River

The Great Green Swamp is critical to the surface and groundwater hydrology of Central Florida, as well as providing vital water to the Hillsborough River. It was therefore a surprise to many when the Florida Department of Environmental Protection listed a portion of this land, the Hilochee Wildlife Management Area, for sale. In the wake of criticism, the DEP has reduced the area for sale and conditioned the sale that the land not be developed. Nevertheless, the River Board, at its December 10, 2013 regular meeting, recognized the importance of this are to the health of the Hillsborough River and voted unanimously to oppose its sale.


Once a week watering limit returning to Tampa Bay area

Lawn Sprinklers


By Tribune staff.

Watering is being limited to once a week after Christmas Day in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. Taking into account the drained and under-construction C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, the agency that oversees water resources in much of West Central Florida declared a Phase II water shortage, meaning residents of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties can water their lawns only once a week instead of two. Hydrologists say this time of year, most lawns don't need more than one watering a week, though. The Southwest Florida Water Management District governing board, at a meeting this morning, voted to implement the restrictions in the three counties. Restrictions become effective the day after Christmas and will continue until March 1.

With the reservoir being repaired and unable to hold the 15.5 billion gallons it gets from the nearby Alafia River, governing board members voiced concern about fresh water reserves in the three counties. Typically during the rainy season, some of the flow in the river is diverted to the reservoir to store for the dry winter season. But with the project to repair the lining of the reservoir ongoing this year, that was not done. Under the Phase II restrictions, lawn watering is allowed only once a week under reduced hours. Micro-irrigation and hand watering of non-lawn areas still are allowed any day. "We are asking residents to be prudent with their water use, especially outdoor irrigation, at this time," said District Chairman Carlos Beruff in a news release announcing the restrictions. "During the winter months you can often skip a week or more, as most lawns and landscape plants do not need as much water." Twice-a-week lawn watering schedules remain in effect for the other 13 counties in the district which stretches between Charlotte to Marion counties.


Source: Tampa Tribune. 

Members round up
On November 14, 2013 the BOCC reappointed Commissioner Al Higginbotham to the River Board. A native Floridian from Plant City, Commissioner Higginbotham received a degree in political science with an emphasis on South American Government from the University of Florida. His political interests led him to serve as a Congressional aide in Washington, Hillsborough River Board & Technical Advisory Council logoand later as an executive assistant to the Florida State Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner.


At its December meeting, the Temple Terrace City Council re-appointed Council Member, and River Board Chair, Alison Fernandez to continue serving as the City's representative on the River Board. Council Member Alison Fernandez became a resident of Temple Terrace in 1972. She graduated from Florida State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting and Finance. For a while, she worked as an auditor for KPMG Peat Marwick, LLC. Ms. Ms. Fernandez also is active in the Temple Terrace Junior Woman's Club, the Lewis Elementary PTA and the Temple Terrace Soccer Association. She was elected to the City Council on Nov. 7, 2006 and re-elected in 2010.


We would like to welcome Christina Hummel who was appointed by the Planning Commission to represent them on the River Board TAC. As the base planner at MacDill Air Force Base, Ms. Hummel manages and updates MacDill's general comprehensive plan. She holds a Masters of City and Regional Planning degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and is an AICP, certified planner with the American Planning Association.


Also joining the River board's TAC is Jackie Julien. Formally with the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, Jackie is the newly hired Environmental Supervisor of the Tampa Port Authority. Congratulations Jackie, we look forward to working with you. We would also like to welcome New TAC member Cindy Zhang-Torres. Ms. Zhang-Torres was appointed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.



Issue 13 Precipitation
Issue 13 Discharge Graph
Issue 13 Gage Graph

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