Cutting through paradise: A political history of the Cross -Florida Barge Canal

Sallie Rowe Middleton, Florida International University


The Cross-Florida Barge Canal, synonymous with boondoggle and waste, became the cause celebre of environmental activism in Florida of the late 1960s. Dramatic changes in Florida's and the nation's politics doomed the CFBC to failure. My purpose is to place in national context the important developments and personalities of Florida's most important environmental controversy. The methodology involved a series of interviews with the most important actors in the canal drama and the environmental movement. Also utilized were regional collections in Florida Public Libraries, the Florida State Archives, personal papers housed at the University of Florida and Corps of Engineers documents. Results showed a clear connection between Florida activism and national environmental policy through the influence of key individuals. I concluded that the CFBC acted as a catalyst to Florida's environmental movement, serving as an indicator of a larger political change from the New Deal coalition to the Republican realignment of 1968.

Subject Area

American history|Political science

Recommended Citation

Middleton, Sallie Rowe, "Cutting through paradise: A political history of the Cross -Florida Barge Canal" (2001). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3006860.