Local archaeologists in race against time to preserve Florida's history

Preserving our area's history

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Archeologists are in a race against time to preserve Florida's history.

Emily Jane Murray, an archeologist with Florida Public Archeology Network, explains, "We're looking at climate change impacts, and they are going to affect the state's archeological sites in many different ways."

Murray says erosion and rising sea levels are two of the biggest concerns. Shell Bluff Landing, which is right on the GTM Research Preserve, is just one of nearly 3,000 sites in Florida that's are in trouble.

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"The storms just came through and really took feet off in the matter of a day between Matthew and Irma," Murray says.

The concerns come as Hurricane Dorian inches closer to Florida's East Coast. Shell Bluff Landing is a site that can offer a glimpse into 6,000 years of history.

"It was the site of the first British governor of Florida. He had an indigo plantation, and we can see some of the indigo plants still growing here on the shoreline."

In order to preserve the history, local archeologists say they're having to focus on coastline sites before they wash away.

"Our main goal is to document the sites, document the threats that we're seeing, the changes that we're seeing, document the artifacts that may be eroding."

If you want to help, FPAN program called Heritage Monitoring Scouts that allows them track more sites all over the state.

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