| 09 Mar 2020 | 01:37

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.