Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's a Shore Thing

The dredging at Stump Pass starts up again on January 4

Word spreads fast among the beach combing community whenever there is any dredging going on. Some of the best sharks tooth hunting & shelling happen where you have a pass between two islands.  Due to wind, tides, & shifting sand these passes tend to close up from time to time. Stump Pass is the southern most tip of Manasota Key. It has become very tricky for boaters to navigate especially at low tide due to the sand bar that has built up over the last few years.

 When a pass closes up it causes lots of environmental changes - some not so good. It can cause the quality of the water to plummet. So the contract has been approved & 3.76 million later the dredging of Stump Pass has begun. They take huge pipes and suck up the sand & shells that have clogged up the pass and spit it out on the beach through big pipes to renourish it. You can only imagine the treasures that big dredge can deposit on the beach. My friend & I took the 1.3 mile walk up the beach to see what was going on. Lots of other folks had the same idea but what a good way to walk off that Christmas dinner.
There is not much beach area to walk on 
The renourishment adds more beautiful beach   (for future tides & winds to wash away)
Lots of sharks teeth washing up from the dredging
The project includes dredging of approximately 332,400 cubic yards of sand and shell from Stump Pass. 
The pass with Knight's Island on the other side
Shell layers from an eroding sand dune
The path back
Park Ranger Bob found his sharks tooth on Stump Pass 7 years ago.  He had a local  jeweler wrap it with the gold wire so he could wear it & proudly show off his find.