Highlights of historic Fernandina, the beaches, and coastal nature at Florida-Georgia border.

The 2018 Cumberland Island Quarter

United States Mint Cumberland Island, GA Quarter 2018
United States Mint: Cumberland Island, GA Quarter 2018

“America The Beautiful” Coins

The United States Mint has revealed designs for the 2018 “America The Beautiful Quarters” collection. One of the five 2018 quarters to be issued features a legendary island here at the Florida-Georgia border.

America has ten National Seashores “from sea to shining sea.” One of the most enchanting islands of the Eastern Seaboard is Cumberland Island, GA.

Beautiful Sand Dunes Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beautiful Sand Dunes, Cumberland Island National Seashore

“Tails” Side of Coin

According to the U.S. Mint, “The design representing Cumberland Island National Seashore depicts a snowy egret perched on a branch on the edge of a salt marsh, ready for flight. Inscriptions are “CUMBERLAND ISLAND,” “GEORGIA,” “2018” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” (Designed by AIP Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.)

“Heads” Side of Coin

The “heads” side of the 2018 quarters will continue to feature the 1932 portrait of George Washington by sculptor John Flanagan, according to the U.S. Mint. Required inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “QUARTER DOLLAR.”

The U.S. Mint tweeted about the unveiling of the 2018 “America the Beautiful Quarters,” see below.

The Quarters Program

This coin program was authorized by Public Law 110-456, the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008.

In accordance with the Act, the Mint is issuing the new quarters at the rate of five per year in the order in which each honored site was first established. The 2008 Act directs the U.S. Mint to design, mint, and issue quarter-dollar coins emblematic of a national park or other national site in each state, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories. The final coin will be released in 2021.

Coastal Companions: Cumberland & Amelia

Cumberland and Amelia Barrier Islands
Cumberland & Amelia, Barrier Islands at FL-GA Border
Amelia and Cumberland are part of the same chain “of southern sea islands having similar natural and cultural histories occurs from North Island, South Carolina, to Anastasia Island, Florida,” according to the National Park Service.

Amelia’s northern tip and Cumberland’s southern tip border the Cumberland Sound (water is the dividing line between Florida and Georgia here at the coast). While these snug islands share some similarities — maritime forest, salt marsh, Atlantic seashore, native flora and fauna — a huge difference separating them today is development.

According to the National Park Service, Cumberland is Georgia’s largest barrier island with “more than 36,000 acres of maritime forests, salt marsh and beaches. The island is also home to over 9,800 acres of Congressionally designated Wilderness.”

An island that’s bigger than Amelia, much of Cumberland remains in near natural state, becoming part of the National Park System in 1972.

Biking Grand Avenue Through Maritime Forest, Cumberland Island
Biking Grand Avenue Through Maritime Forest, Cumberland Island
While Fernandina was established on Amelia over two hundred years ago (1811), it was the early 1970s when the first and largest resort/residential community was founded, Amelia Island Plantation. In the decades since, more resorts, hotels and residential development followed. Today, the largest, most natural area remaining on Amelia is within the boundaries of Fort Clinch State Park, about 1,400 acres on the north end of the island.

Nature lovers and history buffs should make time to see both Cumberland and Fort Clinch when visiting this area at the Florida-Georgia border. Pictured below, lovely oak tree canopy remains within this Florida State Park. One can ride bikes from Fort Clinch’s entry gate along paved park road for three miles under moss-draped trees, to reach the historic fortress itself (open daily to tour).

Amelia Island Beautiful Oak Trees
Lovely Oak Tree Canopy, Fort Clinch State Park

Fort Clinch State Park (learn more) is beautiful with panoramic waterfront views, extensive beachfront, maritime forest and the historic fortress itself, recognized as one of the “most well-preserved 19th century forts in America.”

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