Hillsborough River News

   A Partners In Planning Publication of

   The Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board &

   The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission 

eNews Issue 15  

Summer 2014  


In This Issue

River Facts
Federal Channel designation
Reservoir tour
Joint Board/TAC meeting
Federal Channel reduced
Ulele Springs restoration
Congratulations Dr. Brown
Imagine 2040 : Part 2 survey
Call for Entries!
USGS Charts

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Upcoming Meetings

2014 Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board Meeting Dates:


Monday, August 25


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

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

2014 Hillsborough River Technical Advisory

Council (TAC)

Upcoming Meeting Dates:


 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:  





River Facts
With the establishment of the minimum flow of the upper and middle river by the Southwest Florida Water Management District in 2007 and its supporting Recovery Strategy, the City of Tampa and the District in partnership are implementing measures and projects to achieve the required flow in the lower river, while preserving the pristine nature of the middle and upper rivers.

The river above the dam to roughly the 56th Street bridge passes through the neighborhood of Temple Crest. The river above the 56th Street bridge passes through the City of Temple Terrace and it is one of the many scenic portions of the river. The City has a river cleanup of its river portion twice a year.


River Board contributes to Julian B Lane Park redevelopment 

Design Option A for Riverfront Park Julian B Lane Park is 23 acres located across the Hillsborough River from Downtown Tampa and is generally considered an underutilized property. Tampa has hired Civitas, a consulting company, to engage the community and create a plan for the redevelopment of the park.


There are opportunities to capitalize on this asset, making the park more popular and appealing. In May, the River Board was invited to a meeting with City of Tampa staff and their consultant to discuss preliminary ideas for the redevelopment of Julian B Lane Park. Additional coordination between the project team and the River Board is expected later this year. This project is expected to conclude this Fall, with construction projected for 2016. View plans for the park and participate in the conversation at the You Invision Tampa web site.


River Board tours CW Bill Young Reservoir


Hillsborough River Board Tours C.W. Bill Young Reservoir In June, several members of the River Board & TAC toured the CW Bill Young Reservoir, a key component of the regional water supply system. Abnormal cracking in the reservoir's soil-cement erosion-control layer has limited its functionality. That's why Tampa Bay Water is renovating the reservoir, replacing the erosion-control layer, so the facility can perform as intended and when needed.

Water stored here during wet times is used during dry times, making the region's water supply more drought resistant, reliable and flexible. Safety has been paramount to Tampa Bay Water. From the original siting, permitting, construction and operations of the reservoir to the renovation design, permitting and operations, safety remains a priority for this storage facility. 

Construction on the reservoir renovation began in February 2013. In an effort, to restore reservoir operations as soon as possible, the contractors are working double shifts. All construction takes place on the crest and within the reservoir, which minimizes disturbances to the local community.
Construction is also coordinated from the bottom to the top, so Tampa Bay Water can resume storing water as soon as possible - even as construction is being completed near the reservoir crest.


C.W. Bill Young Reservoir Construction

This project is being done in a way that is friendly to the environment and meets all regulatory requirements:


  • All soil-cement and embankment removed from the slope is being reused for this project, resulting in cost savings and reduced environmental impact.
  • Construction is being staged to avoid surrounding wetlands or conservation areas as all of the work will take place inside the reservoir.
  • The project has been designed to avoid off-site stormwater discharges; all stormwater is collected and treated onsite; it will be sent to Tampa Bay Water's surface water treatment plant
  • Construction is following all applicable state and federal guidelines for listed and protected wildlife found within the project area. Few, if any, impacts to wildlife are expected since the work will take place inside the reservoir.
  • Indigenous fish in the reservoir were relocated to nearby rivers and other bodies of water before construction.
  • Repairs are expected to conclude in few weeks with filling of the reservoir to begin thereafter.

River Board and TAC Annual Joint Meeting   

The River Board and its Technical Advisory Council held its annual joint meeting in May. This joint meeting continues to be an important part of ensuring appropriate coordination between the River Board and its TAC, as well as engaging participants in discussion of setting the direction of efforts for the coming year. The River Board took action at this meeting to endorse a proposed policy change to the River Master Plan which would encourage improved coordination between the River Board and the three local governments it serves: Unincorporated Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa, and the City of Temple Terrace.

Federal Channel width reduced in Downtown area of Hillsborough River

Hillsborough River Federal Channel on the southwest side of downtown Tampa  

Over the past several years, the City of Tampa has worked to narrow the Hillsborough River Federal Channel on the south side of Kennedy Boulevard Bridge to the mouth of the Hillsborough River. The River Board examined and endorsed this effort. Most of the channel in the river is 100 feet wide; however, South of the Kennedy Boulevard Bridge, the channel widened to 200 feet for about .4 of a mile until it terminated in the turning basin just south of the Platt Street Bridge. This was probably due to commercial shipping activity in this area in the early years of the City. This area has changed much since then, and commercial shipping activity no longer takes place in this area. The language to narrow the channel from 200 feet to 100 feet was attached to the Water Resources Reform and Development Act which was signed by President Obama on June 10. The channel is now officially 100 feet in this area. The actual width of the River will remain unchanged; however, this change in the Federal Channel Designation will reduce restrictions on amenities along the shore of the river.


The change brings this small section of the river in line with the rest of the waterway and provides the opportunity for docks and water taxi stops.  It is hoped that this change will aid in efforts to continue making downtown and the river a vibrant and engaging area for the public to enjoy.


River Board supports Ulele Springs restoration

Most people walk or boat by it every day and don't even know it exists. Years ago, Ulele Spring was reduced to a stormwater pipe emptying into the Hillsborough River near downtown. Tom Ries, of the nonprofit Ecosphere Restoration Institute, has been working diligently to recreate a natural landscape for the spring to enter the river.
Restoration of Ulele Springs
Restoration of Ulele Spring and development of Water Works Park

Once completed the spring will include a basin where manatees can refuge from cooler water during the winter. The wetland and uplands associated with the spring contoured and planted with native vegetation.


The project is funded with five grants totaling $670,000, and will be an integral part of Water Works Park, which is also under renovation. In August of 2012, the River Board took action to endorse the project and recommend that the entire spring flow be utilized in the natural spring run for the benefit of wildlife, including manatees, rather than have any of the water diverted for other uses, such as irrigation or as a potable water source.



Technical Advisory Council Chair Brown reappointed
11.1 Dr Rich Brown


Congratulations to Dr. Richard Brown. On June 18, the Board of County Commissioners reappointed Dr. Brown to another four year term on the Technical Advisory Council, representing the citizens of Hillsborough County. Dr. Brown currently serves as Chair of the Technical Advisory Council.





Take the Imagine 2040 : Part 2 Survey at imagine2040.org

32nd Annual Planning & Design Awards CALL for ENTRIES

Do you see projects built in the last five years that are improving the quality of life in Hillsborough County? 


Enter your favorite projects in the Planning Commission's Annual Planning & Design Awards! Submissions are due by August 27th. Check out the Call for Entries for details on criteria and how to submit your entry. Everything you need to know is  right here!   




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.