Dedication ceremony to be held Nov. 16

A piece of the land and waters he was passionate about is going to be named in honor of Wes Skiles.

In wake of his recent death, a longtime friend of his, Mimi A. Drew, Secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection, initiated a request to have a Florida state park renamed for Skiles.

A High Springs native, Skiles spent his life exploring, mapping, photographing and filming springs and underwater caves in North Florida and around the world. He also avidly promoted the preservation of Florida’s natural ecosystems — especially its unique springs.

He died in July while filming at a reef a few miles off the South Florida coast. Fellow divers found him on the ocean floor motionless after he had indicated he was surfacing, and the official cause of death is still unknown. He was 52.

On Nov. 16, there will be a special ceremony to reopen Peacock Springs State Park, which is located in Luraville, near Live Oak, with its new name.

According to Florida Park Service information director Jessica Sims, the event will include guest speakers and the unveiling of the park’s new sign.

The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. and will take place near Orange Grove Spring in the park.

The event is open to the public but space will be limited.

The Skiles family, she said, has been instrumental in arranging it and will be participating in the event.