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Wildlife and the Outdoors
By Bruce Todd, Wildlife Biologist, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Located within the confines of
It should be noted that these salt springs were not gushing streams, but instead were saline oozes or seeps. Pipes were sunk into these seeps, and saline was collected from them in large pots or vats. The brine was then boiled in order to evaporate the water and extract the salt. Salt production became, for a time, big business in these areas. Based on a report dated Aug. 12, 1816, the combined output of saline from these three salt works totaled over 138,000 gallons per day with a potential production rate of 750 bushels or 39,000 pounds of salt per day.
Relics from the old salt works have been excavated and studied by archaeologists and documentation has been made of the associated communities of people who worked at the saltworks or provided a related service or product. The plant and animal communities associated with one of the salt works have also been studied.
A survey of the vascular plants conducted in the same area during fall and spring months revealed the presence of 23 species. All of the plants identified were considered to be wetland species, and three are categorized as halophytes or associated with salty soil. According to researchers, one of these plants was a special find. Sesuvium maritimum (slender sea purslane) had not collected since the early 1800s, and then it was known only to occur in
There has been much interest in the natural and social history of the salt springs of
For more information about the salt springs, contact the
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of