The Search for Blue Sea Glass, SLR/IRL

Blue Sea Glass, (Photo
Blue sea glass. (Photo via “West Coast Sea Glass.”)

One of my favorite childhood memories is searching for sea glass along our beaches, on the other side of the Indian River Lagoon…

My parents’ friends, the Nelsons, were one of the first to build “out there,” on Hutchinson Island; I would often spend the night with their daughter Lynda.  Lynda and I would wake up in the morning before dawn, climb the stairs to the roof, and wait for the sun to rise. Like yellow gold, it would emerge over the ocean, and we would begin our treasure hunt for sea glass.

In those days, in the late 1960s and 1970s, our Martin County beaches were not “renoursished,” and if you picked the sand up in the palm of your hand,  it was beautiful and consisted of thousands of little crushed shells of every imaginable color….often a piece of sea glass would be there too.

Lynda and I had baskets her mother had given us, and on any given weekend we could fill a small basket full with glass. The most common color was brown, then green, then clear, and the rarest of all was blue! Blue was the prize. Blue was goal…Lynda always won!

Sea glass comes in many colors....
Sea glass comes in many colors. (Photo via “Odyssey Sea Glass.”)
Sea Glass Color Chart
Sea glass rarity color chart. (Image via “Find Sea Glass.”)
Along the beach, 1968. Lynda Nelson, Cindi Luce, and me. (Family archives)
Along the beach, Jupiter Island, 1968. Lynda Nelson, Cyndi Luce, and me. (Thurlow family archives, via Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)

It is harder to find sea glass today. And this is a very good thing…

Prior to the 1970s, and many places until the 1990s, trash was dumped from barges off the shores the United States. It was not until the 1972 passage of the “Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act” that laws, regulations, and public awareness stopped this practice.

The plethora of glass along  Atlantic beaches came from the bottles dumped with the trash. After years of being tumbled in the sea, once sharp pieces emerged rounded and frosted by nature….just beautiful!

What do they say? “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” Thankfully in this case, there is less “treasure” to find.

______________________________________________________________

Links:

The History of Waste Disposal in the US and Ok. (http://www.deq.state.ok.us/lpdnew/wastehistory/wastehistory.htm)

Ocean Dumping History: (http://marinebio.org/oceans/ocean-dumping/)

NOAA  Ocean Dumping: http://www.gc.noaa.gov/gcil_mp_ocean_dumping.html

EPA Ocean Dumping and International and National Laws to Stop Practice of: (http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/mprsa_before.cfm)

Sea Glass Sites: (http://www.findseaglass.net/sea-glass-colors-what-are-the-odds-of-finding-them/)(http://www.odysseyseaglass.com/north-beach-sea-glass.html) (https://westcoastseaglass.com/glass_color/cobalt-blue)

3 thoughts on “The Search for Blue Sea Glass, SLR/IRL

  1. Sea glass or gems as we called them In Lake Erie occurred the same way. The biggest dump on our portion of the lake took place at the northland end of Kelly’s Island about 1/2 mile off the island. We spent endless time snorkeling from there to shore finding them. Now, divers have emerged as the “prospectors” mainly because zebra mussels have cleared the particulate matter and made the water really clear.
    Many an artsy crafty person has a dive bud that locates blue glass for them.
    Thanks for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

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