Four Inlets South of the St Lucie Inlet? And How Much Sand Has Washed Away… Really? SLR/IRL

Comparison of 1947 USGS map/natural inlet break 1.1 miles south of  St Lucie Inlet and an aerial from Google Earth 2014.
Comparison of 1947 USGS map/and Google Earth aerial 2014–Shows natural inlet break 1.1 miles south of St Lucie Inlet in 1947 and how much Jupiter Island has migrated towards the coast since then.

“The only thing that is constant is change…” Heraclitus

In a world that is constantly in flux, it is natural to try to make things permanent. Nonetheless, this is to no avail. Nowhere is this as strikingly apparent as our barrier islands off the U.S. Atlantic coastline, right here at home, along our beautiful Indian River Lagoon.

As you know, over thousands of years, storms, winds and tides, along with other forces, have caused the openings of natural inlets along the Indian River Lagoon. Since the late 1800s, humankind, with the help of the Army Corp of Engineers, has “determined” where “permanent” inlets should be located, and filled in those otherwise forming…

My brother, Todd Thurlow, ( has finalized his Time Capsule Flight video of “The Inlets of Peck’s Lake and the Jupiter Narrows,” that I first shared with you in “trial version” last week. His result is even more remarkable.

Through the overlay of Google Earth, historic aerial photographs, NOAA, and USGS maps, his work provides a look back in history to see that our coastline south of today’s St Lucie Inlet has broken through at least four times to form four natural inlets since 1947.

They are: 1947 (1.1 mile south); 1952 (0.5 miles south); 1958 (1.1 south again or another in close proximity; and 1962 at Peck’s Lake during the famous Ash Wed storm.

Watch Todd’s awesome video here:  “The Inlets at Peck’s Lake and Jupiter Narrows:”

I find these “visions” absolutely beautiful.

At one point, I tried to pin Todd down about the number of barrier island breakthroughs. This was his reply:

“Jacqui – at least four breaks sounds right, but I am sure there have been an infinite number of breaks over the centuries – Joes point, Herman Bay, the Cove at IRP, Big and Little Mud creeks… “

I also tried to get an answer out of him that I have been wondering about for years: “How much shoreline along Jupiter Island near Peck’s Lake  has “disappeared?” Todd was quick to say that it is “not that easy” and that this area has probably been coming and going for a long, long  time…

Nonetheless, it is cool to think about. Here is his map. According to Todd, the red polygon in the attached image measures 445 Acres – approximately the amount of land that disappeared between Peck’s Lake and the Inlet since the 1887 NOAA chart. The yellow line measures 1770 feet – a third of a mile.

Yikes! 🙂

Shoreline loss since 1887 map as determined by
Shoreline loss close to Peck’s Lake since 1887 map.

I am excited that Todd is sharing his “evolved” Thurlow map talents, and I am looking forward to a 2015 where he is a regular guest on my blog, taking us all to a high and fluid perspective where we can see change along the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon in a way never before.

Happy Flying!

( Again ) Watch Todd’s awesome video here: “The Inlets at Peck’s Lake and Jupiter Narrows:”

To contact Todd directly you can post on the video itself, or email him


Peck’s Lake Ash Wednesday Storm post: (

7 thoughts on “Four Inlets South of the St Lucie Inlet? And How Much Sand Has Washed Away… Really? SLR/IRL

  1. Thank you to my Facebook friends for their likes, shares, and comments.

    Bill Waxler, Michael Hinman, Mike Glynn and 4 others like this.

    Mike Glynn Thanks Jacqui and Todd. Do yall think it is time to let nature reclaim our beaches and barrier islands?
    8 hrs · Like

    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch A very sensitive question indeed…with so many expensive homes and local governments and all persons living in all counties along the Atlantic coastline dependent on this tax revenue it would be a kind of catch 22 to allow Mother Nature’s reclamation wouldn’t it? In time there will certainly be no choice. And perhaps there is something in between that coastal managers have not discovered yet. I for one, no matter where the inlet in our area is, will be, or was, believe the federal government, not local tax payers, should be paying for “our” inlet as it is part of the dreaded Okeechobee Waterway we must live with…Until that waterway is closed, they owe us.
    8 hrs · Like

  2. I wonder how would be the best way to reach the most ears with the things I have been writeing ? This spring an army of dump trucks put sand on the beach along with a ship that dredged sand offshore. Nothing can move calcium sand like water containing acids. Now all their sand is 10 miles out in the ocean. Until they put the calcium sand back in the lagoon that they have removed they will not fix anything. Do people read books any more?

  3. People who claim the Indian River Lagoon and the St. Lucie River were fresh water before the St. Lucie Inlet was dug need to see this.

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