Presented By Steve Noll

Based on the award-winning book, this presentation examines the long & convoluted history of the attempt to cross the Florida peninsula by cutting a waterway from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico. It looks at the Ocklawaha River in the 19th century and the first attempt to cut a ship canal in the 1930s as part of a New Deal work project. It then moves to the 1960s and the controversy over the building of a barge canal along the path of the failed ship canal. It focuses on the environmental movement organized by Marjorie Carr which eventually stopped the canal before it was completed. Finally, it looks at the process of turning the canal into the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway and the continuing controversy over whether the Kirkpatrick Dam on the Ocklawaha River should be removed. This presentation can be presented solo or with co-author Dave Tegeder.

Dr. Steve Noll is a master lecturer in the history department at the University of Florida. He received his PhD from there in 1991. He taught special education in the public schools of Alachua County for 28 years before moving over full-time to UF in 2004. He has written extensively on two widely disparate topics- Florida history & the environment and disability history. In 2009, he published the award winning Ditch of Dreams, about the ill-fated Cross Florida Barge Canal and is currently working on two books- one on the disability rights movement of the 1970s, and the other on Florida environmental policy and the politics of removing the Rodman Dam on the Ocklawaha River.

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Steve Noll