The barrier island is a flat coastal formation characterized by sand dunes and marshlands. Round Island seemed to be the exception when explored by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. He named it Round Island for its mound shape. Are you thinking, why not Mound Island? Me too. How fun to be an explorer and put a name to these isles. Perhaps if the explorer were a woman, they might be identified more creatively.
Lighthouses, Mercenaries, and Blockades
Though Round Island is rich in history, I chose to explore the present day. At first, it was hard to resist, what with tales of lighthouses, a Venezuelan mercenary fighting to free Cuba of Spanish rule, and Civil War blockades and cotton smuggling. But I didn’t have to dig to find those stories like the other islands, so I’ve linked the websites of short, nicely written histories about those events, and they’re worth the read.
Shifting Sands and Rolling Islands
I was fascinated to learn that the barrier islands are gradually approaching the mainland and shifting westward. That’s right, they’re moving. Erosion, ocean currents, and hurricanes constantly reshape the seashore. Change is continuous as sand transfers from the south to the north due to breezes and longshore winds move the sand from east to west. Shockingly, significant storms can bring about the rolling of islands over themselves. Crazy, isn’t it?
Change comes suddenly during vicious storms, and hurricanes produce flooding and damage vegetation. Sadly, without shelter, many animals perish. As the island has lost hundreds of shorelines, marine life on the beach is tough to sustain. Thankfully our government sought to remedy the situation.
Kudos to the Coastal Preserve Bureau
Thanks to the Coastal Preserve Bureau of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, hundreds of acres of the Gulf Coast Islands have been restored. By turning dredge spoils from the Pascagoula Channel (rock, shell, or soil sediments) into new land, Round Islands greatly benefited and serves specifically as a colony for migratory and shore birds.
This mammoth project began seven years ago, but today, this small, uninhabited island is a coastal preserve for endangered species and a vast variety of wildlife. Slash pine, interior marshes grass, and sandy beaches provide the perfect feeding and resting spot for birds like the brown pelican, white pelican, and cormorants.
I’d love to see these birds up close, but I can’t find any information on visiting Round Island, I did find a few isolated photographs of visitors claiming to be there. None however had a narrative, so I’m not sure what the conditions are regarding visitation.
Well, so much for the geography lesson. There’s a whole lot more to the dredging and reshaping of an island, and tomorrow we’ll learn of one that completely sunk!
Each day gets more difficult for me not to share the gift box, but please continue commenting and entering. If you win, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it! Here are the links.
I wish you could all win. But as we enjoy the natural world that God has created, it’s a win for everyone. Have a blessed Sunday, and worship the Lord in all His glorious creation.