The purchase of the Cape Cod Canal built by August Belmont was authorized by the same Act of Congress in 1927 that authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to enlarge and perpetually maintain the Florida East Coast Canal. Like the Cape Cod Canal, the Florida East Coast Canal was privately owned and collected tolls from marine traffic transiting the waterway.
The difference was that Federal funds were used to buy the Cape Cod Canal and every other waterway along the Atlantic coast to create parts of what some called the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, with the exception of the Florida East Coast Canal. The State of Florida created a special taxing district along the Florida coast to issue bonds and buy the waterway for $725,000. No other state was required to turn over its inland waterways to the federal government, free of charge.