Diagram | Original
flow | Modified flow
The diagram below shows the water flow patterns.
As indicated by the arrows on the map, water used to flow from
the Allapattah Marsh, through the Barley Barber and into Lake Okeechobee.
This historical drainage pattern of the area has been modified
by highways, railroad and drainage projects. In the late 1800s,
the flow into Lake Okeechobee from the Barley Barber Swamp was impeded
by the construction of railroads and highways. Canals dug alongside
the roadbed to extract fill diverted much of the flow, while the
bed acted as a dike. High water flow from the Allapattah Marsh had
all but disappeared by the 1940s, due to drainage activity throughout
After the 1940s, construction of the L-65 and St. Lucie canals
and of U.S. 441 further affected the original drainage pattern of
the area. However, in spite of these changes, the swamp is now considered
an outstanding example of Florida as it may have appeared more than
100 years ago.