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Clearwater, residential and resort city (1990 pop. 98,784), seat of Pinellas co., W central Fla., on the Pinellas peninsula, between Clearwater Bay and the Gulf of Mexico; inc. 1891. A tourist center since 1896, it is now also a retirement haven, with a population more than six times that of 1960. A causeway connects the city proper with 4 mi (6.4 km) of white sand barrier beaches on the Gulf. Clearwater was settled after the establishment of Fort Harrison in 1841. It is linked with Tampa by a causeway across Old Tampa Bay to the east. It is the seat of Clearwater Christian College, and since the 1970s has been a major center for the Church of Scientology.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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