BOWDITCH POINT PARK AND IT'S GEOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE
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Bowditch Point Park is part of the Lee County Parks system located on the north end of busy Fort Myers Beach. It is abound with plant and animal life, as well as important geographical features.
The purpose of this earthcache is to introduce you to Bowditch Point Park, show you how it was formed and the importance of it's geographical features.
IMPORTANCE OF BOWDITCH POINT
Estero Island or Fort Myers Beach is a barrier island or bar, which is a shoaling land form within a bay of water.
Barrier islands are very important to coastal areas to protect the mainland from storms, erosion and to provide shelter for boats. The Fort Myers shrimp and fishing industries would not be here if a barrier island did not exist.
These islands or sand bars develop over time where current or waves with longshore drift promote the deposit of sand.
Barrier islands are thought to have formed in three ways.
1. By the growth of spits from headlands and their subsequent breaching of inlets.
2. By the emergence of underwater shoals.
3. By the drowning and isolation of mainland dune lines as sea level rose (Schwartz 1971)
The barrier islands that separate Estero Bay from the Gulf of Mexico, including Estero Island, are essentially sedimentary deposits that were carried by longshore currents. These deposits originate from sediments deposited at the mouths of rivers and creeks, including the Caloosahatchee River, when rising sea levels flooded this area 5000 years ago. (Johnson and Barbour 1991).
Since the inlet at the north end of Bowditch Point must be kept open and navigable for commerce to enter the bay, from time to time the inlet must be dredged. If not it could close. When dredging takes place, the sand that is removed is placed on the island.
REQUIREMENTS TO RECEIVE CREDIT FOR THIS CACHE
Using your GPS'r, measure the approximate length of Bowditch Point Park (from the concession stand to the inlet), and the aproximate average width of the park (from the Gulf of Mexico to Estero Bay).
1. What is the approximate length and width of Bowditch Point Park? What is your guess as to how big the park is, in acres.
Go to the highest point in the park and with your GPS'r, determine the elevation above sea level.
2. What is the elevation of the highest point in the park?
3. What specific kind of sand is prevalent in the area. (not silica)
4. Email me the answers to these questions, AND, upload a picture showing your GPS'r, in front of your favorite feature of this park. Pictures of you and your group are optional.
Take a nice walk, take your time and enjoy. Picnic and beach facilities are available.
Thank you to Lee County Parks for permission to publish this Earthcache and background materials.
CONGRATULATIONS TO PILOT SEARCHER FOR FTF.
Many thanks to all you wonderful people who posted pictures. I do enjoy them very much. For future finders, take a moment to enjoy them and I hope you post yours too.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum