Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2/16/12 Report - WWII & Nature's Beach Renourishment

Written by the TreasureGuide exclusively for

Tons of Sand Dumped on the Beach by Mother Nature.

As usual, the front passed through a few days ago and now the wind has shifted and is coming from the southeast. And as is often the case, that means the sand is being washed up onto the beaches.

Two or three days ago I was showing you a three foot cut that ran over a mile. Now it is a six inch cut. Sand has piled up two feet and more along that same beach.

Before that sand was washed up onto the beach, it was out in front of the beach in very shallow water. I told you when the bar started to wash in and yesterday it pretty much filled the cuts.

The seas are very calm.

Another View of Tons of Sand.

Beach conditions on the Treasure Coast are now very poor, but the weather and water is wonderful. You couldn't ask for nicer water conditions. Too bad there is so much sand in the shallow water.

The seas will remain very calm until Monday or so.

I recently received some questions about bullets being retrieved from newly dredged sand. One such email concerned the Fort Myers region where a renourishment project has been going on.

As you probably know bullets and shell casings are common detector finds, especially on the Treasure Coast and many of the other beaches of Florida where military exercises were conducted.

I don't think many younger people realize how pervasive the military was in Florida during WWII. Some might know of the Seals Museum on Hutchinson Island and some of the WWII activities around there, but there was a lot of military activity all around Florida.

Since I received a question concerning the Fort Myers area, here is a nice web site that gives a lot of good history on a large military air field near there, Buckingham Field.

I think anyone interested in history will like this site. It presents a lot of photos and illustrations of the largely abandoned air field, both from the WWII era and much more recent, showing where buildings and structures were and where the remains are today. Take a look.

Anyhow, back to the question of where the bullets on our beaches come from. Even though WWII is one source, there are many other possible sources as well.

Of course musket balls etc. can be found that go back to the earliest explorers. In the 19th century bird plumes were highly sought after, and hunters came through and shot birds and other wildlife.

So there are really a lot of possible sources for the bullets that are found on the beaches. Too many to answer any general questions about where the bullets might have come from.

We also have our fair share of criminals in the state.

I once found a cylinder from some sort of six shooter in the surf. It was cut in half. I was told that where I found it is where the police used to dump illegal weapons after they were destroyed.

I've also found a good selection of brass knuckles and switch blade knives in the ocean, both of which I believe are illegal.

Here are some bullets and shell casings that have been found more recently while metal detecting Treasure Coast beaches.

Small Caliber Bullets.\

I believe these might have been used to shoot birds or other small game. I don't know.

It appears that they were shot into sand. Maybe recreational shooting.

Another Group of Found Bullets and Shell Casings.

Some of these appear to me to be military WWII. The big one I would think is maybe anti-aircraft. Maybe someone can tell me for sure.

The one in the upper right was found just the other day.

You might want to research some of the local military sites for possible metal detecting. Some are abandoned.

Did you know that many of the original buildings on the IRSC campus in Fort Pierce were military buildings?

Happy hunting,