Sea Glass on the Outer Banks
by Renee H
(Easthampton, MA (USA))
Hi All! My family and I are newer sea glass hunters (started about 3 years ago) and are hooked!
We are taking a trip to the Outer Banks (NC) in a few weeks and are wondering if anyone had tips for hunting in that area (where to go, etc).
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Map of Outer Banks area:
Added Info on Outer Banks:
The Outer Banks are a long stretch of elongated, low-lying, sandy and marshy barrier islands off the Atlantic Coast of North Carolina, lying along more than half of the length of the coast for 200 miles.
These islands are of the type usually formed where rivers empty along the ocean coast. The rivers and streams have carried silt and sand for many thousands of years.
These deposits of sand and silt, kept in place by currents along the shores, gradually collect on the shallow ocean floor, building upwards. The stretch of water lying between barrier islands, or "banks" of sand remains clear and navigable and are usually known as "sounds."
The barrier islands along the Outer Banks offer a great place for summer relaxation and beach activities and are very popular with tourists. The year-round population, however, is very low due to the difficult access to mainland towns, stores, etc.
The sounds, inside of the protection of the barrier reefs, provide easy sailing and have been navigated for centuries. Unfortunately for sea glass hunters, there is little wave action on the inside parts of the islands and the islands are very marshy, with almost no opportunity for sea glass.
The open ocean side of the Outer Banks is much more likely to produce good sea glass with the constant wave action, but the sandy beaches tend to bury anything solid within a short time, leavng and glass shards untumbled and buried under many feet of sand.
That being said, shards that have been there a long time can be uncovered during storms, and some of these shards have had enough exposure to be frosted and tumbled.
For more information on why barrier islands like those that form the Outer Islands of North Carolina are relatively unproductive of sea glass, see Find Sea Glass - A Discussion of Land Features.~ Added by David Schneider of OdysseySeaGlass.com ~