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Page 237 10 Transformation of the South Florida Landscape William D. Solecki Montclair State University Robert T. Walker Michigan State University This chapter describes the relationship between expansion of the human system and changes in land use in the South Florida region of the United States. The actual study area comprises the seven southernmost counties in Florida: Broward, Collier, Dade, Hendry, Lee, Monroe, and Palm Beach (see Figure 10-1). Human interventions in South Florida's natural systems have been dramatic, with notable effects on the quality of life. Since 1900, 11,027 square kilometers of natural land in the study region have been shifted to agricultural and urban uses in connection with federal, state, and private efforts to provide drainage and flood control. This land represents about 41 percent of the total study area, which covers some 27,000 square kilometers. The shifts in land use occurred in stages, beginning in the late nineteenth century. Historically, this chapter looks at five distinct periods: pre-1900, 1900–1930, 1930–1950, 1950–1970, and 1970 to the present. Each period is characterized by a different set of human–environment interactions, along with differing relationships among population growth, consumption, and land use change. The interactions among these elements are examined in several ways. First, we look closely at the nature of the human–environment interactions within each period and the social and physical drivers effecting transformations in them (see Merchant, 1990—the general discussion of ecological transformations—and Solecki et al., 2000). Second, we illustrate how each time period set the stage for the next phase of development by presenting certain constraints and possibilities. Finally, empirical evidence
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Page 238 ~ enlarge ~ FIGURE 10-1 Counties and major cities, South and Central Florida. of these changes and transformations are derived from an examination of the amount and rate of land use change throughout the century. The discussion in this chapter is based generally on the concept of land use coupling, presented as a functional relationship between an agricultural hinterland and the urban markets for foodstuffs (Walker, 1998). When an agricultural region supplies only markets in nearby urban settlements—that is, the region constitutes a closed market for agricultural production—the regional land use system, including both agricultural and urban activities, is said to be coupled. Alternatively, when the agricultural sector produces for markets outside the region, the system is said to be decoupled. As decoupling took place in South Florida, the pattern of
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Page 239population demands on the land and land use transformation changed. This switch is fundamental to understanding the interactions between population and land use in the region. The chapter begins with a physical description of the study region, followed by a description of the evolution of land use in South Florida over the twentieth century. In doing so, it notes the ecological implications of changes in land use and, because drainage and flood control levees have been instrumental in enabling changes in land cover, describes the state's drainage activities, as well as the initial stages of federal intervention in flood control. This historical exposition is followed by a section on the empirical evidence of the changes in land use in South Florida. Specifically, it examines the impacts of the changing regional economy and certain infrastructure on land use. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the role of institutions and markets in land use. SOUTH FLORIDA: A PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION The South Florida study area is located on a low-relief limestone peninsula that lies largely at the southern extremity of North America in the humid subtropical climatic zone. The region has a mild winter climate, with January temperatures ranging from 11° to 23°C (mean 18°C), and a warm summer climate, with August temperatures ranging from 22° to 33°C (mean 28°C). Rainfall averages 1,400 millimeters a year. During the dry season from November to April, the average rainfall is less than 60 millimeters a month; during the rainy season from June to September, the rainfall averages over 200 millimeters a month. The study area is subject to frequent episodic events—tropical and winter storms (including hurricanes), droughts, flooding, and hard freezes (Duever et al., 1994). The South Florida region has an extended growing season. Most years the area has no freezing temperatures and enjoys a growing season of more than 320 days. Although crops could be grown throughout the year, the summer heat and humidity are very stressful to most agricultural plants and reduce yields. In addition, plant diseases and weed control are far more serious in the summer than in the winter (Snyder and Davidson, 1994). The Everglades The natural hydrologic system before the initiation of government-sponsored drainage projects was extensive. A hydrologic conduit connected central Florida, just south of present-day Orlando, to the mangrove reaches of Florida Bay, gateway to the tropical Florida Keys (see Figure 10-2). Water flowing through the Kissimmee River was impounded by Lake Okeechobee until breaching its low banks, from where it contin
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Page 240 ~ enlarge ~ FIGURE 10-2 Historic Everglades watershed. ued south through interminable reaches of saw grass and deepwater sloughs, freshening the high-saline waters of Florida Bay upon discharge to the tidewater. The terrain of the South Florida hydrologic system is barely more than a few meters above sea level and has virtually no perceptible local relief. It slopes very gently south from Lake Okeechobee—that is, only 3–6 centimeters per kilometer over the 145 kilometers to Florida Bay at the tip of the peninsula. The lake regularly overflowed its southern banks, resulting in a slow “sheetflow” of water roughly 50 kilometers wide. It passed to the west of the Atlantic coastal “ridge” (less than 10 meters in elevation) in a north–south direction through Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties. This area of slowly moving water is known as the Everglades, although the term is also often used as a catchall to refer to the region's natural systems. The Everglades is composed of limestone bedrock cov-
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Page 241ered with calcitic mud and (in the north of the system) by peat and muck several meters thick. The freshwater that flows in rivers and streams and as a shallow sheet across the gently sloping landscape is the unifying force and sustaining element of the system. Approximately three-fourths of the study site lies within the Everglades watershed. The rest lies to the east of the Atlantic coastal ridge and in the west drain to the Gulf of Mexico (see Craig, 1991; Davis and Odgen, 1994; Lodge, 1994). Changes in Land Use Land use in South Florida has changed significantly since 1900. At the turn of the century almost all land in the region was in a natural or near-natural state. However, Native Americans and nineteenth-century Anglo-American hunting and grazing did modify the ecosystem in a few areas and eliminated certain species such as birds with extensive plumage ( Figure 10-3). By 1953 more than 80 percent of the land remained in a relatively pristine condition ( Figure 10-4), but by 1973 land use in the region had changed markedly ( Figure 10-5). In 1988, urban land made up 13.8 percent of the land area; agricultural land (plantations and cropland) made up 21.4 percent ( Figure 10-6). Over the past several decades, the proportion of agricultural land in the region ~ enlarge ~ FIGURE 10-3 Land cover, South Florida, 1900. SOURCE: Center for Wetlands, University of Florida.
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Page 242 ~ enlarge ~ FIGURE 10-4 Land cover, South Florida, 1953. SOURCE: Center for Wetlands, University of Florida. has remained steady, but that devoted to urban land uses, such as residential, industrial, and commercial, has increased substantially. The ecological impacts of this massive change in land use have been significant. The extensive Everglades marsh, built through peat depositions over the past 5,000 years (Gleason and Stone, 1994) and once covering about 12,000 square kilometers, was reduced by 50 percent in the twentieth century, to its present territory of 6,000 square kilometers. The
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Page 243 ~ enlarge ~ FIGURE 10-5 Land cover, South Florida, 1973. SOURCE: Center for Wetlands, University of Florida. Everglades wetland, which makes up the noncoastal regions of the study counties, originally comprised seven physiographic landscapes; they have been reduced to four. The original landscapes were: the swamp forest (600 square kilometers), the saw grass plains (2,380 square kilometers), the slough/tree island/saw grass mosaic (3,110 square kilometers), the saw grass-dominated mosaic (1,790 square kilometers), the peripheral wet prairies (1,170 square kilometers), the coastal cypress strand (120 square kilometers), and the southern marl-forming marshes (2,490 square kilometers)—see Davis et al. (1994) and Myers and Ewel (1991). The 600 square kilometers of swamp forest once found just south of Lake Okeechobee in northwestern Palm Beach County vanished early with
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Page 244 ~ enlarge ~ FIGURE 10-6 Land cover, South Florida, 1988. SOURCE: Center for Wetlands, University of Florida. agricultural development. Since then, the peripheral wet prairies and the coastal cypress strand have disappeared or have been reduced to scattered remnants because of urban expansion from the eastern coastal ridge. The monospecific saw grass plains once found just south of the swamp forest (mostly in western Palm Beach and Broward counties) have given way to sugarcane and are now a mere 25 percent of their former size. The remaining landscapes (marl-forming marshes and two types of saw grass mosaic) largely retained their original size, but they have felt the effects of changed hydroperiod and eutrophication. Finally, the pine forest that once covered the eastern coastal ridge has largely disappeared; only one patch remains, preserved within the boundaries of Everglades National Park.
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Page 245 In the Everglades several factors have seriously reduced the nesting populations of wading birds, long an aesthetic symbol of the Everglades wetland and a good indicator of environmental conditions (Ogden, 1994; Robertson and Frederick, 1994). These factors are: reduced water flow, a shortened hydroperiod in high-elevation marshes, a diminished discharge to coastal estuaries, and a loss of permanent standing water in the deeper central sloughs. It was originally thought that nesting birds in the southern Everglades maintained populations on the order of 1 million into the 1930s. Ogden (1994), however, estimated that the peak population for that period was between 180,000 and 245,000 birds (in 1933–1934). He also estimated a maximum of 50,000 for 1976, after drainage, indicating an overall decline of between 75 and 80 percent for aggregate populations of the great egret, tri-colored heron, snowy egret, white ibis, and wood stork. Environmental changes have not been limited to obvious and marked reductions in animal populations. Of particular current concern is the worsening water quality; phosphorus concentrations in waters flowing directly from agricultural areas to the central and northern Everglades have increased by an order of magnitude. Predrainage concentrations of phosphorus in surface waters were at the limit of detection, on the order of 0.01 milligram per liter. Today, eutrophication has brought phosphorus amounts to between 0.15 and 0.20 milligrams per liter in the agricultural surface waters discharging to the water conservation areas (Davis, 1994). As a result, cattail marshes have spread extensively, replacing saw grass. This environmental impact opened the door to the federal suit filed against the state of Florida in 1988, charging that the state had failed to properly enforce federal water quality protection laws (DeWitt, 1994). HUMAN INTERVENTION AND ECOLOGICAL CHANGE IN SOUTH FLORIDA The history of South Florida reveals how the region has developed and become increasingly linked with nonlocal institutions and markets. Particularly important has been the rapid and complete integration of the region's emerging economy with external interests—for example, U.S. northern winter food markets, tourism, and now increasingly trade and financial services. Indeed, since the onset of regional development at the turn of the century, land use decoupling has increased in South Florida (Walker and Solecki, 2000). Key Drivers of Changes in Land Use Rapid population growth has been a major component of the decoupling process. The population of South Florida grew from just a few thousand in 1900 to more than 4.6 million in 1990 (see Table 10-1). But
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Page 246 TABLE 10-1 Population Growth, Density, Number of Households, and Percent Urban, South Florida, 1930–1990 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 Population (thousands) Region 49.8 429 760 1,620 2,440 3,600 4,650 Florida 1,470 1,900 2,770 4,950 6,790 9,750 12,900 Population density (persons per hectare) Region 0.09 0.16 0.28 0.60 0.90 1.33 1.71 Florida 0.10 0.14 0.20 0.35 0.48 0.69 0.92 United States 0.16 0.17 0.19 0.19 0.22 0.24 0.32 Number of households (thousands) Region 69 NA 237 531 844 1,410 1,830 Percent urban a Region 77.7 76.3 86.5 91.0 94.9 96.1 95.8 Florida 51.7 55.1 65.5 73.9 80.5 82.6 84.8 United States 56.2 56.5 64.0 69.9 73.5 74.0 75.2 a “Urban” encompasses territory, persons, and housing units in: (1) places of 2,500 or more persons incorporated as cities, villages, boroughs, and towns but excluding the rural portions of “extended cities”; (2) census-designated places of 2,500 or more persons; (3) other territory, incorporated or unincorporated, including areas designated as urban. SOURCE: Census of Population, U.S. Census Bureau.
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Page 247 population growth did not occur evenly throughout the region. Rapid, large-scale population growth first took place in the southeastern counties—Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach—and only more recently accelerated in the other counties. During the early decades of the twentieth century, the southeastern counties grew at rates of more than 100 percent per decade, reflecting the growth of local tourism and agriculture-related industries. The rural population grew as well, but the most significant growth came in the urban sector, particularly around Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and the Palm Beaches. After a slowdown during the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II, rapid population growth continued in the late 1940s, driven increasingly by the tourism industry, the influx of retirees, and the development of urban-based industries more generally. During that period, population growth accelerated in the western coastal areas, including Lee and Collier counties. Meanwhile, the growth rates of the interior sections of these counties and the east coast counties, as well as of landlocked Hendry County, remained extremely low. This condition created a significant population density gradient: coastal sites had densities of well over 1,500 persons per square kilometer, while interior sites had densities of only one to five persons per square kilometer. Population growth, although at a slower rate, continued to the end of the century, stemming almost entirely from in-migration to the region, especially from the Midwest and Northeast of the United States and, internationally, from the Caribbean Basin ( Table 10-2). While factors of regional development, such as population growth, are an important factor driving changes in land use in South Florida, other forces that drive the rate of change at particular sites within the region are influential as well. In this context, sets of other institutional and societal factors become significant (see Solecki, 1997; Walker et al., 1997). These factors include land ownership issues such as public versus private; natural hazards such as hurricanes, droughts, and winter freezes; TABLE 10-2 In-migration, South Florida, 1960–1990 (thousands) 1960 1970 1980 1990 In-migration within Florida 69 110 172 232 In-migration other states 416 437 647 676 In-migration international 41 123 146 221 In-migration total a 526 670 965 1129 In-migration total as percent of population 32.4 27.4 26.8 24.3 NOTE: Figures based on residence at previous mid-decade. Migration parameters changed several times during the study period. Data are not an estimate of net migration. a Total includes domestic (within Florida and other states) and international in-migration. SOURCE: Census of Population, U.S. Census Bureau.
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Page 264 ~ enlarge ~ FIGURE 10-9 Land cover in South Florida, 1900–1988. SOURCE: Calculated by authors from data provided by the Center for Wetlands, University of Florida (1900, 1953, 1973) and South Florida Water Management District (1986). NOTE: Water areas are defined as open water, including lakes and bays. The high-resolution 1986 data allowed for increased identification of such features, which explains much of the increase in area. land increased substantially as the regional economy increasingly responded to national and international markets. The change in the rate of land use conversion throughout the century depicts the shifting demand ( Figure 10-9). Based on the data available, the rate of conversion was much less during the early period (1900–1953) than during the periods 1953–1973 and 1973–1986. Between 1900 and 1953 about 2,625 square kilometers of natural lands were converted to agricultural or urban uses, or an average of 4,953 hectares a year. Between 1953 and 1973, nearly 5,800 square kilometers (28,997 hectares a year) of natural areas were lost to human uses, and from 1973 to 1986 another 2,650 square kilometers (20,387 hectares a year). One partial explanation is the clear link between increased agricultural production for a national and international market and land use conversion. In 1939 the region accounted for 0.3 percent of all farm sales in the United States; in 1986, it accounted for 1.3 percent. Particular sectors were especially important. For example, South Florida's share of national sugarcane sales increased from 13.1 percent in 1939 to 46.1 percent in 1986; its share of national vegetable sales increased from 5.5 percent to 15.0 percent during the same period (Winsberg, 1991). Prices were set not by local supply and demand equilibrium but were the results of national
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Page 265and international markets and competition, with government support in the case of sugar. The expansion of agricultural land was especially rapid during the middle part of the century, and the demands for urban land use also increased dramatically after World War II, particularly when automobile-oriented, land-intensive suburban development gained popularity. During the first and second periods, (1900–1953, 1953–1973), however, the conversion of natural areas to agricultural uses predominated and was greater than 70 percent for both periods. In fact, even with the rapid expansion of the urban population and the demand for land for urban uses during 1953–1973, the agricultural conversion of natural areas still climbed to 75 percent of the total amount of natural areas conversion, up from 72 percent in the preceding period. Much of this conversion took place inland from the Gulf of Mexico coast away from the urban populations. Later, though, the urban component increased appreciably. Between 1973 and 1986, urban expansion accounted for 124,169 hectares (or 47 percent) of the total 265,035 hectares of natural land converted. The agricultural component fell to 53 percent for the same period, down from 75 percent for the period 1953–1973. The area of encroachment per new resident provides further evidence of the changing nature of the link between population growth and land use change. Over the periods 1900–1953 and 1953–1973, total encroachment per new resident grew from 0.26 hectares to 0.33 hectares. It slowed, however, for the third period (1973–1986) to a value of 0.18 hectares per new resident. 1 The decline during the third period of record is illustrative of the continued agricultural expansion in inland areas, particularly in Collier, Hendry, and Lee counties, and the suburban and exurban sprawl, particularly in western Broward and Palm Beach counties. A land use shift of growing importance in the region was the conversion of farmland to urban land uses and the further conversion of inland natural sites to agricultural development. Over time, natural area sites for new residential areas declined, so developers turned to farmland. As farmers lost agricultural land, other more interior land was converted from natural land cover to agricultural production. The conversion of agricultural land to urban land more than doubled over the periods 1953–1973 and 1973–1986, growing from 32,733 to 75,160 hectares. In relative terms, the increase was more dramatic. As a percentage of the total conversion of natural areas, loss of agricultural lands to urban use climbed from 5.6 percent to 28.3 percent of total land conversion. 1The 1900 population was taken as 6,000. The 1953 population was interpolated between 1950 and 1960, the 1973 population between 1970 and 1980, and the 1986 population between 1980 and 1990.
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Page 266 The Impact of Infrastructure on Land Use These regional phenomena indicate little about exactly how the process of land use change took place. In order to determine at the subregional scale how these changes occurred and what their relative impacts on the environment were, this section examines the role of infrastructure in steering development to specific sites. Although one might assume that land conversion is associated with infrastructure development, sites near some kinds of infrastructure, specifically canals and levees, were in fact the setting for the most extensive conversion from natural land use to other land uses. Table 10-5 presents the fraction of land converted (natural areas to agriculture and natural areas to urban) for land that lies within 5 kilometers and 10 kilometers of specific canals and levees in South Florida. The data in Table 10-5, given for the periods 1900–1953 and 1973–1986, reveal the impact that public investments in infrastructure have had on the region's landscape evolution. In the first period, fully 73 percent of all agricultural and 79 percent of all urban conversion occurred within 10 kilometers of the 1930 canal system, showing that natural areas encroachment was clearly infrastructure-driven, even for the large expanses of uplands on both the east and west coasts of South Florida. By the second period, the importance of the canals had somewhat attenuated, although fully 56 percent of urban conversion still occurred within 10 kilometers of the 1930 canals. Note that the land within 10 kilometers of the canals constitutes approximately 10–20 percent of the land area of each county through which the canals pass. Unfortunately, infrastructure projects also were associated with environmental problems. Even at canal sites remaining in natural ground cover (that is, nonagricultural and nonurban land), significant environmental degradation occurred, such as extreme changes in the natural pe- TABLE 10-5 Canals and Natural Lands Encroachment, South Florida (percent) 1900–1953 1900–1953 1973–1986 1973–1986 Agricultural Urban Agricultural Urban 5 kilometers 63 57 23 36 10 kilometers 73 79 43 56 NOTE: The canals considered were constructed by 1930. Percentages represent proportion of total natural areas converted. For example, 63 percent of all natural areas converted to agricultural use occurred within 5 kilometers of the canal system. SOURCE: Calculated by authors from Center for Wetlands and South Florida Water Management District data.
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Page 267 ~ enlarge ~ FIGURE 10-10 Brazilian pepper, melaleuca, and cattail infiltration, South Florida, 1988. SOURCE: South Florida Water Management District, 1988. riodicity of the water table, the introduction and spread of nonnative, alien species, and the inflow of water pollutants. We examined the spatial distribution of three well-recognized alien species in the region: Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia), and cattails (Typha spp.)—see Figure 10-10. These species invade native species, eventually excluding and changing the local ecosystem (for example, through increased transpiration of water). Then, based on grid assignments to the South Florida region, we produced frequency counts for the observance of these exotic species in relation to three components of infrastructure—roads, canals, and levees. These data
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Page 268 TABLE 10-6 Exotic Species and Development Infrastructure, South Florida Brazilian Pepper Melaleuca Cattails Proximate a Roads 33 37 15 (9) (13) (4) Canals 18 23 6 (5) (7) (2) Levees 8 18 14 (3) (4) (1) Nonproximate b Roads 6 18 4 (30) (42) (15) Canals 21 32 13 (34) (48) (17) Levees 31 37 5 (36) (51) (18) aEntries for proximate categories show observed frequencies of GIS-generated grid cells (one square kilometer) containing both exotic species and an infrastructure component. Expected frequencies under null hypothesis of no spatial association appear in parentheses below the observed frequency. For example, in 33 (of 900) grid cells Brazilian pepper and roads are observed simultaneously. If the presence of roads did not affect the likely occurrence of Brazilian pepper, one would expect to observe 9 cells with both roads and the exotic species. Thus the observed value exceeds the value that would be expected in the absence of a spatial relation. bEntries for nonproximate categories show the occurrence of exotic species in grid cells without the designated infrastructure component. Thus Brazilian pepper is found in 6 grid cells where no roads are observed. In the absence of a spatial relation the expected number of observations would be 30. NOTE: The chi-square statistic was significant for all combinations of exotic species and infrastructure. The null hypothesis of spatial independence was uniformly rejected. show strong spatial relationships between the presence of one of these elements of the built environment and the presence of one of three exotic species ( Table 10-6). The upper panel of the table shows observed and expected frequencies of grid cells containing both an infrastructure component and some exotic species. Thus, in 33 grids can be found both a road and some Brazilian pepper. Under a null hypothesis of no spatial relation between the location of a road and the presence of Brazilian pepper, the expected frequency would be 9. Thus, there were many more instances of this combination than would be likely if no relationship existed. Alternatively, in the cells where infrastructure components are absent, the frequency of some exotic species is lower. For example, in the case of Brazilian pepper, six cells contained roads but no Brazilian pep-
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Page 269per. If no spatial relationship existed, the expected number of cells containing roads without Brazilian pepper would be 30. This same pattern is repeated for all combinations of exotic species and infrastructure components. There is always a more-than-expected frequency of observed exotic species in the presence of infrastructure and a less-than-expected frequency of nonoccurrence under the presumption of no spatial relationship at the 95-percent statistical confidence level. THE KEY ROLE OF INSTITUTIONS AND MARKETS: A DISCUSSION This historical perspective reveals the key role played by governments and markets in setting the stage for regional economic development and population growth and for subsequent changes in land use. Drainage of some areas of the region began in the late nineteenth century through the cooperative efforts of the state of Florida and investors from inside and outside the region. Several early efforts, such as Disston's project, ended with only partial success. Then, as part of Progressive era reformist policy at the turn of the twentieth century, the state of Florida became more directly involved in drainage efforts and sponsored some activities that lasted nearly 50 years, far beyond any individual's planning horizon. When drainage was finished, the federal government intervened for another period of sustained investments. By the late 1960s the ecology and hydrology of all South Florida had been fundamentally altered through dredging and filling operations. Private interests profited tremendously from the common effort, realized through state intervention, to develop a viable economy in South Florida. But this economic development, while generating income and wealth, has fostered rapid population growth, which in turn has caused significant encroachment on surrounding natural areas. The most rapid population growth first took place along the Atlantic coast, particularly in and around some of the early towns, including Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Later, in mid-century, population growth accelerated on the Gulf of Mexico coast. The agriculture-based population in the interior remained relatively much lower throughout the century. The region's early development phases expanded agricultural lands, but with ongoing regional development came a switch to urban encroachments. From 1900 to 1973 more than a half-million hectares of land were converted to agricultural uses. During the same period, 220,234 hectares of land were converted to urban uses. Later, from 1973 to 1986, urban-based populations demanded increasing amounts of residential space, particularly in the coastal zones. Since then, the expansion of human settlements has been deterred by physical constraints (such as extreme wetland locations) and institutional constraints (such as publicly pro-
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Page 270tected lands) imposed by the system. Agricultural to urban conversions have become the primary land cover dynamic. Over the years, several factors were involved in land use change. For one thing, there was a positive spatial association between the location of large capital infrastructure features—canals, levees, and roads—and heightened rates of land use conversion and the frequency of occurrence of alien plant species. These results present further evidence of how policy decisions at the local, state, and national levels guided the changes in the region's landscape. One of the most interesting observations is the impact of the global economy on the South Florida region. As the South Florida economy expanded, it became increasingly integrated into the national and international economies, and in turn was increasingly influenced by events beyond the borders of Florida. The impact of the Cuban revolution and shift in the sugarcane market are the most obvious example. Currently, the economy of the region is being restructured through development of the Miami area into a major international finance and shipping center, which has brought increased flows of capital and in-migration to the region and will surely result in further changes to the landscape. CONCLUSION The analysis presented in this chapter suggests that changes in land use may be understood, at least in the South Florida case, through the study of institutional and market forces. Governmental intervention was key throughout the history of South Florida, especially when the study region was a frontier. The economic environment was simply too risky to sustain private interests alone, and state investment in infrastructure was critical. In more recent decades, federal action such as the U.S. embargo of Cuban sugar and the development and implementation of the federal environmental protection legislation had dramatic impacts on South Florida and the region's natural environment. We must conclude that the common argument that population growth in South Florida led directly to changes in land use is overly simplistic. Government-supported infrastructure developments produced the economic opportunities that played a large role in land use changes in the region. In the early decades of the twentieth century, government-sponsored drainage operations fostered the expansion of agricultural development and settlement, and the canals attracted settlements and land use conversions. Government subsidies of population growth in the form of tax laws favoring large dwellings and utility pricing practices also added to the overall growth. At mid-century, the expanded drainage operations and flood control activities carried out by the U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers led to fur-
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Page 271ther land use change. By the early 1960s much of the infrastructure needed to enable the conversion of land to agricultural and urban uses was in place. It was during this period that the amount of land converted per new resident in region was the highest—0.33 hectares per person from 1953 to 1973. From 1973 to 1986, as land became scarcer, the rate of natural land conversion per new resident began to slow. Given these results, the connection between population growth and land conversion is best described as indirect. The relationship has been heavily influenced by shifts and turns in public policy at all levels of governance—local, state, national, and international. In South Florida these policies influenced land use change through two dimensions. First, the policies encouraged in-migration to the region, which led to increased exploitation of the land. During the past several decades, the U.S. embargo of Cuban sugar and the relaxation of controls on international immigration have had dramatic environmental impacts on South Florida. Second, the policies channeled land development to particular types of sites or areas within the larger region. Federal responses to demands for increased flood control and now for increased environmental protection of the Everglades system have moderated the pace and distribution of land conversion. The most extreme examples of this are lands that are now under public ownership. There, all development has been excluded. REFERENCES Alvarez, J., G. C. Lynne, T. H. Spreen, and R. A. Solove. 1994 . The economic importance of the EAA and water quality management. Pp. 194–223 in Everglades Agricultural Area: Water, Soil, Crop, and Environmental Management, A. B. Bottcher and F. T. Izuno, eds. Gainesville : University Press of Florida . Blake, N. M. 1980 . Land into Water—Water into Land: A History of Water Management in Florida. Tallahassee : University Press of Florida . Boswell, T., and J. R. Curtis. 1991 . The Hispanization of metropolitan Miami. Pp. 140–162 in South Florida: The Winds of Change, T. D. Boswell, ed. Miami : Department of Geography, University of Miami . Carlebach, M., and E. F. Provenzo. 1993 . Farm Security Administration Photographs of Florida. Tallahassee : University Press of Florida . Cartano, D. G. 1991 . The drug industry in South Florida. Pp. 105–111 in South Florida: The Winds of Change, T. D. Boswell, ed. Miami : Department of Geography, University of Miami . Carter, L. J. 1974 . The Florida Experience: Land and Water Policy in a Growth State. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press . Chapman, A. E. 1991 . History of South Florida. Pp. 31–42 in South Florida: The Winds of Change. T. D. Boswell, ed. Miami : Department of Geography, University of Miami . Coale, F. J. 1994 . Sugarcane production in the EAA. Pp. 224–237 in Everglades Agricultural Area: Water, Soil, Crop, and Environmental Management, A. B. Bottcher and F. T.I zuno, eds. Gainesville : University Press of Florida . Craig, A. K. 1991 . The physical environment of South Florida. Pp. 1–16 in South Florida: The Winds of Change, T. D. Boswell, ed. Miami : Department of Geography, University of Miami .
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Representative terms from entire chapter: