Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sanibel Causeway Spoil Islands

Today I made a trip off-island again. Traveling on the causeway, made me think of the islands between the bridges, that are called spoil islands. (No, they don't look spoiled to me either!) I can remember back to a time when I wondered what that meant. So, just in case any of you people are from a part of the world, like I was, where such things don't exist; here's what I was told.

Spoil islands are created from dredged material that has been removed from the ocean. The dredged sediments are deposited in the water to create new islands or to add to existing natural islands.

The Sanibel Causeway spans San Carlos Bay and is nearly 3 miles long and includes two spoil islands which are operated by Lee County, as parks. The islands were originally built as part of the first causeway that opened in 1963. A new causeway was built using these same spoil islands and opened in 2007.

While the islands were originally built as a part of the causeway design, they have grown into a popular destination for beach-goers, fisherman, and on windy days, wind and kite surfers. Lee County is turning part of the old Sanibel Causeway into a fishing pier, very soon. The concrete pilings that were left for this purpose, make perfect perches for sea birds, until then. New landscaping for the islands is also coming soon!

Here's the scene, as I saw it today. The water was a pretty aquamarine color.
I've been noticing that someone has a hotdog stand set up on one of the islands now. A sign along side the road, advertises hot dogs, ice cream and sodas. You can see it in the photo below, in the center under the umbrella.
It's a sign of Spring Breakers and the busy season, when you can see parasailers in the air at Ft Myers Beach. I could see them from the causeway today. There were also a lot of fishing boats, in every direction you looked.


Gayle said...

That is a very interesting little tidbit. I honestly never would have guessed that they just built islands when they needed another one! That was some time ago...I would guess the environmentalists wouldn't go for dredging the ocean and make new islands these days. Your photos are beautiful...wish I was there.

Jeanne said...

Thanks for the lesson ;)

Melli said...

I have heard about those islands - but I never knew they were called Spoils! That water was really beautiful today!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

No Tootie, I had never heard of a Spoil Island before. VERY interesting. I'm glad to see that they have been turned into parks... NEAT!!!!


George said...

Thanks for teaching us about spoil islands -- I had not heard that term before. I was surprised that the islands were so large. They look pretty nice to be made from dredge material.

Little Black Scrap Cat said...

Great pictures, Tootie. I want to check out the Spoils a little more in October.

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