The Cross Florida Barge Canal was designed to connect the Gulf of Mexico with the Atlantic Ocean across mainland Florida. It was first proposed in the 1930s as part of an economic recovery program and again in 1942 as a national defense project. The project was finally granted funding in 1963 under President John F. Kennedy, and engineers completed some portions of the canal. Pressure from local citizens and environmentalist groups convinced President Richard Nixon to halt the project in 1971. Most of the strip of land that was to be used for the canal is now part of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway.