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Water-Related News

USF professor documents the stories of nature and people in an urban watershed

For Thomas Hallock, the creeks, streams and springs that drain into Tampa Bay tell as many human stories as they do environmental.

Which is why the USF St. Petersburg campus English Professor is navigating the entire flow of Booker and Salt Creeks that meander through south St. Petersburg to raise awareness of their importance to the region. He will do so by wading in or kayaking these bodies of water, and when necessary portaging his vessel around manmade obstacles that have arisen over the decades to alter the creeks’ natural flows.

All the while, he and colleague Amanda Hagood, an Animal Studies instructor at Eckerd College who will join Hallock on some excursions, will talk with residents and write dispatches on the complicated history and present-day communities around these storied waterways.

“I have been focusing my writing lately on springs, and found that by looking at a spring it can take you to bigger issues of environmental justice and beyond,” Hagood said.

Over the next two years, they are producing a series of stories for Creative Loafing, which they hope will be as interesting and diverse as the creeks and springs they will cover. USF Libraries will chronicle all of Hallock, Hagood and other interested writers’ stories on a creekshed story map.