Monday, February 3, 2014

This past weekend (Feb. 1), FPAN Northeast staff participated in Timucuan Adventure Day, as part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve's annual, two-day Science and History Symposium. Friday (Jan. 31), local archaeology, biology, ecology, and environmental science researchers gathered to present research conducted within the preserve. Saturday's event is intended to be family-oriented, with all-day activities, games, and even guided hikes and kayak tours! For its part, FPAN brought their authentic anchor-and-chain, along with mapping/recording implements such as pencils, graph paper, and a "grid" to lay on top of the anchor. For details about this kid-friendly activity, see this former blog post. Mapping an anchor is certainly fun, educational, and promotes the preservation of Florida's rich maritime heritage, but our additional goal is to promote the Big Anchor Project.

The Big Anchor Project is a global initiative to encourage and support the recordation of our world's anchors, both on land and below the ocean surface. Here in Florida, one does not have to travel far to see ancient anchors lying in streets, or sitting in marina or restaurant parking lot. The anchor is an iconic symbol of seafaring throughout time, and can  inform researchers about past trade routes, technology changes, and even highlight/mark accomplishments during the age of exploration! The problem is, these artifacts will not be around forever (especially those that are on dry land, exposed to the elements).

Example of a local anchor at a private residence, here in St. Augustine

The program makes it easy for professionals and amateurs alike to record and upload their anchors on the website. All in one webpage, they have access to the forms, guidance on filling them out, examples of completed forms, and also a visible database of recorded anchors, so you can make sure yours isn't already on the site! FPAN staff encourage everyone to participate in the Big Anchor Project; it's fun, educational, and you're playing a role in helping preserve the past! How cool is that?

Children and adults enjoyed mapping FPAN's authentic anchor

Text and Images: Ryan Harke, FPAN Staff. Full Credit to Big Anchor Project for use of their logo.

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