A Brief History of The Treasure Coast

The Treasure Coast is located on the east side of Florida, on the coast of the Atlantic. It includes St. Lucie, the Indian River, Martin, as well as the counties of Palm Beach. People who live in the Treasure Coast wanted their own identity apart from the Gold Coast area, which is their southern neighbor, and Miami. So, they named their town after a Treasure Fleet from Spain which was lost at sea during a hurricane in 1715.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) divided this region into two metropolitan areas for statistical purposes as needed by the Bureau of the Census and others. One of these is the Port St. Lucie, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area. This is made up of the counties in St. Lucie and Martin. The other is the Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area. This includes the Indian River county. The county of Palm Beach is included in the Metropolitan Statistical Area of Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach Florida.

Sandbars and barrier islands provide protection for the bays, rivers and shallow lagoons. This also shields the Treasure Coast from the Atlantic Ocean. As soon as you go more inland, you will see a lot of palmetto flatlands and pine. A lot of rivers and lakes run through the area, including the famous Indian River, which is one of the elements in the Indian River Lagoon system. During particular seasons, there is a chance that bridges might interfere with the flow of the red drift algae. This results in a hydrogen sulfide smell in the area that resembles “rotten eggs”. In addition, the Atlantic part of the Intracoastal Waterway, which goes from Brownsville, TX to Boston, MA, forms a border for the Treasure Coast region.

People have been living in this part of Florida for a long time. However, it was not until a surge of the population during the 20th century that this area started to take on an identity of its own. Similar to the First Coast and Gold Coast, it became one of Florida’s “coast” areas. In 1961, when treasure from Spain was discovered off the coast, two newspaper men from the Vero Beach Press Journal, Harry J. Schultz and John J. Schumann Jr., coined this name. This area became famous when treasure from the Treasure Fleet of 1715 was discovered. This treasure was lost near the Sebastian Inlet during a hurricane. This discovery put the region on the map and attracted attention from around the world. Schumann and Schultz commented that this area from Palm Beach to Miami on the south side to Brevard County on the north side, in other words, between the Gold Coast and the Space Coast, was not named. So, in their article, they named this area the “Treasure Coast”, and the name was adopted by the community.

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