Today I am going to share some aerial photographs that showcase development in Sewall’s Point during the 1960s, specifically, Isle Edition and Archipelago. To give reference, I was born in 1964. During this time and before, the bulkheading of spoil islands was fashionable. Due to environmental restrictions that were put into law in the 1970s, development on such a scale is no longer allowed.
Bulkheading is basically when one creates a seawall. In the case of a some of the islands off the Town of Sewall’s Point, they were cleared, bulkheaded, filled with sand, and then developed. In some instances the fill is high enough that these islands are not completely in same flood zones as surrounding areas.
To see flood zones of the Archipelago and Isle Addition type in my address: 18 Riverview Drive then navigate east and south along shoreline. (http://mcgov.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=4b72b96cb58c4e49bbb25ecb5313f681)
According to my mother’s book, “Sewall’s Point, A History of a Peninsular Community on Florida’s Treasure Coast:”
“High Point’s “Isle Addition” was developed by Bessemer in 1966, during the same years Perry Boswell developed Archipelago. Both subdivisions are on bulkheaded islands that were augmented by dredge-and-fill operations. Since laws no longer allow this type of development, there will never be another one on Sewall’s Point.” -Sandra Henderson Thurlow
The islands I am referring to are spoil islands. They are not natural islands. These islands were created by the ACOE. The 156 mile long Indian River Lagoon has 137 spoil islands; they were formed from 1953 to 1961 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredged the Intracoastal Waterway — the main channel through the center of the lagoon. The Corps left behind heaps of sand on either side of the channel.
I am including this video my brother Todd created about the spoil islands from an earlier blog as it is most fascinating as is the coast history of our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon region. Enjoy!
Spoil Island Time Capsule Flight IRL by Todd Thurlow: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sODqzQ8EW9o&feature=youtu.be)
Earlier blog Spoil Islands: (http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/tag/spoil-islands-irl/)
DEP Spoil Islands IRL: (http://spoilislandproject.org/about-us/)
1 thought on “The Bulkheaded Spoil Islands of Sewall’s Point, SLR/IRL”
While the are beautiful places to live, it is too bad the natural flow of the water and currents were blocked. If they hadn’t done all that and let Peck Lake open up, the water would all flush a lot better and we would have a safe inlet. Always a losing battle to try to make water go somewhere it does not want to. If I were king, I would decommission the corps of engineers. Mother Nature is a lot better engineer. Mac