Author Archives: Florida's Big Dig

About Florida's Big Dig

I am Bill Crawford. I was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., bisected by the Intracoastal. I graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor's degree in commerce, with distinction, concentrating in finance. I obtained my juris doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law. I have practiced law for more than 43 years. I am a professional historian and author of the award-winning book, “Florida’s Big Dig,” (2008) the story of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. I have practiced law in Florida since 1975. Along the way, I developed a keen interest in researching and writing history, publishing numerous scholarly journal articles and one award-winning book, "Florida's Big Dig," the story of Florida's Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, using my legal pbackground to understand legal transactions, deeds, wmortgages, bonds, preferred stock, and legal descriptions of land and water. In recent years, I have maintained a limited practice consulting with other professionals on various historical land and water issues, including sovereign, riparian, and submerged land rights, focusing on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and Florida inland waterways. I maintain a broad regular website here at and a website solely on how the book was researched as well as some of the major themes explored. The website on the book itself is at The website on contacts for professional services is at A fifteen-page outline of my book

Will Reeves DC Municipal Building Be Preserved in Stadium Deal?

The vote of one mayor is not the votes of all of the members of the city council. Second, a lot can happen between now and then, when the last approval is needed, especially when hundreds of millions of dollars are in play of OPM, Other People’s Money.

Florida’s Big Dig

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy named Frank D. Reeves, a Howard University law professor, as his advisor on minority affairs, the first African American chosen to serve as a presidential advisor.  That same year, in December, Reeves defended the NAACP and two prominent Fort Lauderdale, Fla. blacks, a physician, Dr. Von D. Mizell, and Eula Mae Johnson, head of the local branch of the NAACP, in a lawsuit brought by the City of Ft. Lauderdale in the Broward County (Fla.) Circuit Court to stop the ‘wade-ins’ at the Ft. Lauderdale beaches that had taken place over a six-week period in July and August 1961.  Trial began in December 1961 without a jury before an elected, white, state court judge, Ted Cabot, a legendary jurist who later became Fort Lauderdale’s first resident federal judge.

Frank D. Reeves, presidential advisor to JFK, Howard University law professor, and attorney for NAACP and others in city of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., v.  NAACP et al. Frank D. Reeves, presidential advisor to JFK, Howard University law professor, and attorney for NAACP and…

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The Suez Canal — 150 years and counting

Florida’s Big Dig

This is a forty-five minute documentary film.  Having been the author of “Florida’s Big Dig,” I participated in the making of the Modern Marvels documentary on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.  I know that the organization makes every effort to get its facts straight because when I suggested changes in the script for accuracy, the producer/writer made them. Later, I asked the producer why he bothered to make the changes. His answer: he didn’t want to receive 10,000 letters telling them they were wrong!  So, I can attest to their diligence.

What is fascinating in 2015 is that the Suez Canal Authority is embarking on a mega-project to enlarge the Suez Canal just as the Panama Canal finishes within the next six months its enlargement to compete for the business of the ever longer and wider new cargo vessel one thousand feet long.  Even more fascinating is that these two canals…

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Panama Canal Begins Filling New Locks

Only two minutes long, a video worth watching.

Florida’s Big Dig

Excitement builds as the Panama Canal begins filling in its new locks.  The expansion of the canal by one-third will meet the demands of the next one hundred years as mega-cargo ships transit through the locks each ship carrying perhaps a third more cargo, making transportation through the Canal more economically efficient.

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“The Forest and the Sea,” Marston Bates, and Ecology

Florida’s Big Dig  “The Study of Life” from “The Forest and the Sea” by the Pyrenees.

The snippet is 4 minutes long and intended to interpret “The Forest and the Sea,” written by Dr. Marston Bates in 1960.  It is free. You may buy the album if you have some euros lying around.  Restrain yourself from playing the snippet until you’ve finished reading about Dr. Bates, please.

As many of you know, I have tried my best to limit my subject matter to things of interest, some architecture, some art, a lot of community history, and even more about the inland waterways because my book and this website (I detest the word blog) are about the Intracoastal Waterway, as well as some canals and inland waterways throughout the world in such places as France, England, Belgium, and The Netherlands.  My recitation of the acclaimed Miami architect Alfred Browning Parker’s reference to…

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Valley Palooza event to take place on the Intracoastal on Monday, July 5th:  Enjoy but Beware!

Florida’s Big Dig

Valley Palooza hits the ICW, July 5
Region: Atlantic ICW – FL & St. Johns R.

Date Reported: Jul 2, 2015

Reported By: Mike Ahart, News Editor

Source: Coast Guard News
Coast-Guard-Reponse-Boat.jpgWatch out for a raft of rafts – it’s a floating party on the ICW around Mile 755 on Sunday, July 5, 2015, according to a Coast Guard News report:
The Coast Guard, along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, are set to conduct patrols, Sunday, throughout the Intercoastal Waterway in the vicinity of Palm Valley, Florida, in conjunction with the planned Valley Palooza event.
This is the first year for the Valley Palooza event that involves participants aboard inflatable rafts in the Intercoastal Waterway.

Coast Guard on guard July 5th, 2015, for untoward part activities during the Palooza event at the ICW and the Palm Valley Bridge. Coast Guard on guard July 5th, 2015, for untoward part activities during the Palooza event at the ICW and the Palm Valley Bridge.

During the event…

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