The Drowned Lands Historical Society presented a panel discussion, “How the Drowned Lands were drained and became the Black Dirt Region," on Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Pine Island Firehouse before a crowd of more than 70 people.
The panelists were William Grohoski, Black Dirt Historian; Kevin Sumner from the Orange County Soil and Water Conservation; Jerry Zimmerman of the Pine island Chamber of Commerce; and Brian Pahucki, a geologist for Orange County.
The discussion included:
The history of how the famous Black Dirt was formed;
The earliest draining efforts by the Colonists;
Flooding – at various historical times;
Straightening the channel;
FDR and the Civilian Conservation Corps CC and efforts made by the camps in the Walkill project; and
The current phases of flood control -from 1938 until present.
The event was hosted by club President John Ruszkiewicz and emceed by club member Tracey Pietrzak.