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Tips to transport shells safely

By Staff | May 15, 2009

This is the third segment in a three part series on how to find, clean and safely transport shells home once your trip to our island paradise comes to an end. All three subjects are explored in a new handout produced by the Shell Museum. Stop by the Museum to pick up a copy. The first page of the publication includes images of the most commonly discovered shells on our island beaches. Page two includes shelling tips.

The creative techniques listed below are a compilation of instructions gathered from local shell experts that travel worldwide to gather beach treasures.

Safely Transporting Shells

n Sturdy shells can just be packed in small plastic bags. The techniques below can be used for delicate shells.

n Fill plastic bottles with sand to cushion the shells. Small shells can be placed in plastic medicine containers.

n To protect hinged bivalves, stuff them with cotton and use scotch tape to secure them in a closed position. Be sure to remove the tape when you return home or it will adhere permanently adhere to the shell.

n Save coffee cans and plastic peanut butter or mayonnaise containers. Wrap your shells in toilet paper or bubble wrap. Buy rice or wheat puffs which serve as a protective filler in metal /plastic containers or zip-lock bags. Coffee cans can be placed in checked luggage but shouldn’t be packed in carry-on bags or mailed in corrugated boxes.

n Styrofoam peanuts or sawdust work well as filler for packing larger shells.

n For sand dollars or other delicate, specimens buy a loaf of bread. Put each specimen in between two pieces of bread and re-pack.

n To mail packages use heavy corrugated boxes, reinforce boxes on the corners and line with corrugated material. Reinforce the sides with crisscrossed pieces. Place box inside another box, with crumpled up newspaper serving as a shock absorber between the two boxes.

This Week At The Museum

Live Tank Demonstration

Date: Monday, May 18th Time: 2 pm Cost: Museum Entrance Fee

How To Find, Clean, and Pack Shells For Safe Travel

Date: Tuesday, May 19th Time: 11:30 am Cost: Museum Admission Fee

How To Find, Clean and Pack Shells For Safe Travel

Date: Wednesday, May 20th

Time: 11:30 am Cost: Museum Entrance Fee

Story Time at the Museum

Date(s): Friday, May 22 Ages: 3 & Up with Parents

Time: 10 am _ 11 am

Cost: free