1969

The Florida Legislature passed the Governmental Reorganization Act, creating the Department of Natural Resources. The department combined the tasks of the former Outdoor and Recreational Development Council, the Board of Drainage Commissioners, the Florida Board of Conservation, the Canal Authority, the Suwannee River Development Authority and the State Park Service and part of the functions of the old Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.

1968

Florida’s new constitution made the protection of natural resources a state priority.

1966-1967

Fifteen new sinkholes appeared in central Florida, indicating a serious drop in the water table.

As they did in the past, sinkholes indicate a drop in the water table below the earth’s surface. This sinkhole in the late 1990s threatened an apartment complex when it opened near Orlando.

1965

Congress enacted the Federal Water Quality Act.

1964

Construction resumed on the Cross-Florida Barge Canal.

1963

The Orange Lake Dam was built.

1962

The Four River Basin Study was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a federal project was authorized.

1961

The Legislature created the Southwest Florida Water Management District to initiate management programs in the area. The district replaced seven smaller districts. It had nine board members, each serving three-year staggered terms.

1960

As a result of floods in mid-central Florida and the Tampa Bay area, emergency water resource and flood control studies were undertaken in the Green Swamp, Tampa Bay area and Ocklawaha River Basin.

1958

Congress authorized a United States study commission for the Southeast River Basin to study the water resources of Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

1957

Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam on the Apalachicola River became fully operational.

1956

The Legislature created the Department of Water Resources under the State Board of Conservation.

1955

The Florida Legislature established the seven-member Water Resources Study Commission. Byron E. Herlong was appointed by Gov. Leroy Collins and designated chairman. The study committee report to the governor resulted in the passage of the Water Resources Act of 1957 (State Bill 377). The act declared, for the first time, a water policy for the state. It recognized the need for an overall evaluation of the state’s water resources. The Water Survey and Research Division agency was also dissolved, and its files were turned over to the Florida Geological Survey.

Aug. 4, 1954

Congress passed the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, providing for water management by the Soil Conservation Service of watersheds smaller than 250,000 acres.

1953

The Artesian Water Control Act was passed to control flowing artesian wells.

1950

Florida’s population reached 2.77 million.