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No More Shelly Island

Chad Koczera

Chad Koczera

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This spring, a new sandbar became visible off North Carolina along the coast of Cape Hatteras. The Gulf Stream flows toward the North Atlantic, and the Labrador Current flows to the south. These two strong currents meet in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina. As these two currents collided, sand shifted and formed the sandbar. This island was named Shelly Island by an eleven year old boy named Caleb Ryan. He visited the sandbar on Memorial Day and observed that the island was covered with shells.

Shelly Island is a mile long, roughly 450 yards wide, and it has continued to increase in size. People were warned to avoid swimming to the island due to the threat of strong rip currents, sharks, and stingrays. Over the summer, hundreds of visitors traveled by boat to set foot on Shelly Island and witness the island’s shells and beauty.

As of now, this sandbar is no longer an island. Originally, the island was fifty yards away from Cape Point on Hatteras Island. During low tide, the island now connects to the end of Cape Point. At high tide, there are only six inches of water that separate Shelly Island from Hatteras Island. It is possible that Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose contributed to this change.

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The Official Student News of Green Hope High School
No More Shelly Island