Urbanization and Hydrologic Change in Northwest Hillsborough County, Florida


  • Harold F. Gilman
  • Philip D. Jolly


Hillsborough County, located in west-central Florida on the shores of Tampa Bay has long been among the most rapidly urbanizing areas of the United States (Fig. 1). Examination of aerial photography reveals that recent urban growth is proceeding towards areas of increasing environmental sensitivity. This is especially true of the hydrologic environment. In 1938, the date of the earliest photography available, northern Hillsborough County was rural. Economic activities for the area were based on agriculture. Well drained areas contained citrus, and poorly drained areas were used as pasture. Cypress sloughs were evident throughout the region.