A 9.8-ACRE PARCEL WITH WATERFRONT ESTUARY
9.8 ACRE PARCEL
Located on the south side of the Loxahatchee River between Clemons Street and Dubois Park is a parcel of land commonly known as Suni Sands. Suni Sands is an important part of local history, as it was the site of some of the first activity in the Jupiter area, including homes, commerce and the start of the Celestial Railroad. This land is also known to be archeologically significant. Suni Sands, contains the “Suni Sands Shell Midden,” which is listed on the Florida Master Site File survey as an archaeological site that is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Christian Davenport, Palm Beach County Archeologist, recently explained, “people have been living in Jupiter since 6,000 years ago . . . Suni Sands is located on top of a pre-historic Indian Village site - a rare ‘double platform mound’ where the biggest of chiefs once lived.”
The Foundation believes that an area with this much history and importance should be preserved for the benefit of the public. Development of this parcel would destroy this rare double platform mound forever. Establishment of a field study school, along with an artifact museum and educational programs would make this history accessible to all and would complement the activities of the adjacent Jupiter Lighthouse and Museum.
Photography Courtesy of Jim Abernethy
The Waterfront Estuary is a marine habitat, situated water-ward of the Suni Sands property. The submerged land is filled with Sea Grass, which is the food source and nursery ground for a variety of rare, endangered and threatened sea creatures. Turtles, Conch, Juvenile Sawfish, Manatees, Star Fish, and Sting Rays make their home in these waters. Corresponding birdlife, such as Great and Little Blue Herons, Great and Snowy Egrets, Ospreys, Red Shouldered Hawks, Double Crested Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, Green and yellow-Crowned Night Herons, and Black Bellied Whistling Ducks are frequent visitors.
The Town of Jupiter has slated this area for development, including dredging of this sensitive area to accommodate large motorized boats and the construction of a hotel and other tourist attractions that will disturb this important eco system. There are currently no restrictions to keep powerboats from cutting across the sea grass. Palm Beach County, while recognizing the abundance of marine life, is promoting the area to nature lovers. However, steps must also be taken to ensure that visitors interact with the living environment in a manner that protects it from overexposure.
The Foundation believes that this estuary should be protected from both development and overexposure. The Foundation is interested in ensuring that public access is managed in a way that protects the estuary and in providing for educational and conservation related activities.