Shell Bluff Landing
Shell Bluff Landing (Photo: Courtesy of Florida Public Archaeology Network)

Near Saint Augustine, Florida, a quiet rocky beach called Shell Bluff Landing has a unique history. Layers of oyster shells – leftover from prehistoric Native American dinners – lie beneath the soil. And above ground, a stone well built by Minorcan farmers about 200 years ago still stands.

Miller: “It was near the shoreline about 12 years ago. Now that well is in the water. So it’s been a visual marker, kind of a poster child for us, of what’s happening with increased storminess and erosion and the impacts from hurricanes.”

That’s Sarah Miller of the Florida Public Archeology Network. She says Shell Bluff Landing is just one of almost 3,000 archeological sites in Florida now at risk from erosion, increasingly intense storms, and sea-level rise.

Miller manages a group of volunteers who document the condition of the sites. She says the information they provide helps archeologists develop plans to preserve what they can.

Miller: “What do we want people in a hundred years to be able to see and know about past cultures in Florida that won’t exist if we don’t step in and make some adaptation to those sites?”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

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