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Brunswick, Georgia 31521
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Sept. 12, 2006

Beach Walk a Grab-Bag of Oceanic Surprises

Eileen Hutcheson did not depend on the ocean to deposit its treasures on the beach for the September 12th Beach Walk.  Accompanied by a grab-bag of oceanic surprises, Eileen guided the group along the St. Simons Island seashore and explained how the beach had accreted and eroded over time.  Pausing occasionally, Eileen would reach into her bag of goodies and produce common and not-so-common beach finds to pass around as she told the story of the creature that produced it.  The different lacey egg casings from the whelks and conchs were a popular item that many had seen on the beach but never knew how they were made or the purpose they served. 


The great mystery of why we don't see many sea shells on our beaches was finally revealed.  Pointing out to the breaking seas on the offshore sandbars, Eileen explained about how the energy of the waves was dissipated and the onshore movement of shells slowed, providing us with smooth fine-grained sandy beaches that are pleasant to bare feet. 

   The fact that many shells are deposited just offshore of our beaches was discovered during the studies for the ill-fated beach renourishment project.  Thankfully, citizens like Eileen spoke up and saved our beautiful natural beaches from being covered in shells that feel like razors to bare feet.


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