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Islands

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Peanut Island, ca. 1980s.

As they did with inlets, humans have created new islands and altered existing ones within the Lake Worth Lagoon.

When the Port of Palm Beach deepened Lake Worth Inlet in 1918, it deposited the dredged material in Lake Worth, creating a ten-acre “spoil island.” Inlet Island, as the site was called, continued to be used in this way to maintain the inlet and the shipping channel at the port. The name was changed to Peanut Island when the State of Florida gave permission for use of the island as a terminal for shipping peanut oil. Although these plans were abandoned in 1946, the name remained.

A Coast Guard station was added to the island in 1936. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1961, the SeaBees, the Construction Battalion of the U.S. Navy, secretly built the Kennedy Bunker in just seven days. The tiny, half-buried shelter would have become the nation’s command post if an emergency occurred while then-President John F. Kennedy was staying at his family’s home in Palm Beach. It was never needed for such a purpose. The Coast Guard station is now leased to the Palm Beach Maritime Museum, which provides tours of the former station and the nearby bomb shelter.

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Postcard of Munyon Island and the Hotel Hygeia,
early 20th century.

In the 1990s, Peanut Island was again used for dredging material for the Intracoastal Waterway, and expanded to 86 acres.

Munyon Island, called Nutcsachoo by the Seminoles, grew in the same way. Part of the Lake Worth Lagoon Estuary in North Palm Beach, the island tripled in size from 15 to 45 acres after the dumping of sand and sediment onto its wetlands during construction and maintenance of the Intracoastal in the 1930s and 1960s.

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