Despite its small size, Rhode Island is home to a maritime marvel: the Green Jacket Shoal. Nestled in the Providence River, this 33-acre underwater treasure trove brims with relics from a bygone era. It's a submerged mosaic of shipwrecks and industrial remnants, marking the spot where Providence's first port, India Point, once thrived.
Green Jacket Shoal's legacy began in the 19th century, serving as a bustling center for global maritime trade. As times changed, so did the fate of many vessels and docks, which now lie in a watery grave. Here, history sleeps beneath the water’s ripples, with at least five steamboats, six sailing ships, and 15 barges. Among them are two large paddle-wheel steamships named Mount Hope and Bay Queen. These ships, each measuring 200 feet long, represent remnants of the Industrial Era and remain silent witnesses to that period of history.
Today, Green Jacket Shoal beckons the curious and the adventurous. During the summer months, the Providence River Boat Company casts light on the shadows of the deep, guiding visitors through a historical journey peppered with scenic splendor. Marine archaeologists from institutions like the University of Rhode Island delve into the depths to unravel the shoal's secrets, while photographers capture its eerie beauty.
In recognition of its dual historical and ecological value, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, alongside local organizations, spearheads conservation efforts. They aim to preserve the shoal's integrity, safeguard its inhabitants, and educate the public on its significance, ensuring that Green Jacket Shoal remains a testament to Rhode Island's rich maritime tapestry for generations to come.
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