Lake Boca Raton with the Boca Raton Hotel & Club (background, west)

Lake Boca Raton and Boca Raton Hotel & Club (in the background)

Lake Boca Raton (foreground) and Boca Raton Hotel & Club (in the background. 

The 1889 Corthell survey of the Florida East Coast Canal showed the Lake at 5′ – 9′ deep with a forty foot bluff along the near, east (Atlantic Ocean) side of the Lake.  While four feet would have satisfied state specifications in 1881 (3′ then), by 1889 that depth would not have been navigable for most purposes, nor would it have satisfied the new minimum at that time of five feet deep.

Today, the Intracoastal Waterway runs through Lake Boca Raton from south to north. The same shallow conditions prevail except for a narrow, dredged marked route through the Lake. Interestingly, except for the channel marked for the Intracoastal Waterway, during weekend low tides, power boats congregate and raft with each other, party-goers exit their boats and literally walk in the shallowest parts of the center part of the Lake. Even the children walk in the shallow water. It’s party time!

This Lake and other lakes, rivers, and lagoons along the Florida East Coast Canal had water present throughout the year but for all practical purposes these watercourses were non-navigable to all but the lightest flatboat steamers and light draft sailboats. Dredging was required despite the presence of water.

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