Tuesday, July 31, 2012

7/31/12 Report - What To Do If You Find an Artifact & Tropical Storm Season

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Tropical Disturbance in the Atlantic (NOAA)
I receive a lot of questions about rules and regulations pertaining to metal detecting.  I couldn't begin to do that topic justice and won't attempt to.  There are so many different levels of government that get involved, it can be confusing and unclear.  That said, if you try to do the right thing and use common sense, you'll generally be OK.

Detecting on most Florida beaches is permitted.  There are some exceptions. 

You will need to stay out of the dunes, which are usually either private property or covered by protected Sea Oats or something.

Also, don't detect in the water in leased search or salvage areas.

In the past I've posted maps of some of the leased areas where you are not permitted to metal detect in the water.  You can find those that I posted by going back through old posts in this blog.   The search box can be a big help.

I have commented on some situations, but  advise doing your research concerning specific locations.  If you have any questions, it is easy enough to ask a life guard or call the applicable county parks department or other governmental office or agency. 

Asking is always a good policy.

I decided to post the following question and answer that can be found on the Florida Public Archaeology Network web site.  Here it is.

If I find an artifact, can I keep it?

On State or Federal lands, it is not lawful to collect or remove artifacts. The Isolated Finds Policy in Florida has been discontinued and does not allow individuals to keep artifacts discovered in Florida’s rivers. If you do find an artifact, the best thing to do is leave it in place, record the approximate location on a map, take a photo with a well-known object (like a coin) as a scale, and contact your regional FPAN office which can help you properly report the find.

If you happen to find an artifact while metal detecting, don't be afraid to report it.   Despite the horror stories you might hear about confiscated cars and all of that, they aren't out to punish good law-abiding citizens who are trying to do the right thing..  The people from the State of Florida that I've contacted in the past have all been consistently friendly and helpful.  You won't get in trouble if you report something you see that might be of historic or archaeological significance.

You can also volunteer to work with FPAN. 

The St. Lucie Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution are planning on having a memorial plaque honoring veterans of the American Revolution placed in Memorial Park in Stuart.   Contributions for the memorial may be made payable to the St. Lucie River Chapter, SARS and marked as Vets Memorial, and can be sent to Hall Riediger 1702 SW Nantucket Ave, Port St. Lucie, Florida 34953-2425.

If you are descended from a soldier of the American Revolution you might want to join SARS.  Visitors are also welcome to their meetings.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

As you know it has been hot and it is the time of year to expect tropical storms.  When summer conditions prevail on the beaches, as has been the case lately, not much changes unless we do have a storm. 

There is a tropical disturbance in the Atlantic now, but it is still far away from Florida and has only a 20% chance of developing into a cyclone in the next 48 hours.  (See map at top of blog.   Thanks to all of you tax payers.)

It will take days for that storm to reach Florida, if it ever does.  It is too far away to predict now.

Otherwise not much has changed on our local Treasure Coast beaches and probably won't real soon.

Happy hunting,