Ecofina Springs, FL 10-1-11--
Several dozen residents started their day off early Friday at Pitt Spring in Bay County to learn more about Econfina Creek, the area's main source of drinking water. It was a part of the Northwest Florida Management District's "Preserving Water Resource Program."
"It's very rich in prehistoric history and recent history," said Bill Cleckley, NWFL Water Management.
A panel of experts, including an archaeologist and an FSU professor talked, among other things, about the creek's culture.
"The story says that William Gainer was supposedly a scout attached to Andrew Jackson's party that discovered this area," said one of the panel members.
The water management district also talked about its purchases through the years of more than 41,000 acres of land surrounding the creek, an effort to protect it from outside development.
"It's hard to say where it would be without having public land protection," said Cleckley.
A group of junior R.O.T.C. members from Bay High School was also at the event. In the last two and a half years, 30 of them have cleaned up Bay County's oldest slave cemetery located just down the street from Econfina Creek.