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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Collecting Seashells in Wildwood New Jersey

Collecting Seashells in Wildwood New Jersey
Heading to Wildwood in New Jersey and love to collect seashells? If so, you'll want to read my post from top to bottom! You'll learn where the best places are to find the BEST seashells and once you find them, how to clean them up for the trip back home. Collecting seashells while in Wildwood is so much fun, if you know where to look!

During this particular 5-day trip down to Wildwood, we found 3 small sand dollars, 1 large starfish, 2 large conch shells (whelk shells), 48 medium conch shells (whelk shells) and over 100 other different types of seashells (clam shells, oyster shells, moon shells and more).

I brought them back to our condo and cleaned them up for the trip home. I love decorating my home and front & back yards with various seashells since I do a coastal theme. I would rather find our own shells than buy them as they mean more to me that way!
Conch and Whelk Shells found in Wildwood New Jersey
Whelk Shells found in Wildwood
We always find great shells in North Wildwood but this year we found a lot more than we normally do! We found the best place for finding them and that is up on the beach behind the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse. I was really pleased that we had gorgeous weather and plenty of seashells this time around.

In our opinion, late April through the middle of June is the best time to find seashells on the beach. Sometimes you will have to dig in wet sand to find them or wade out into the surf to grab them as they wash in. Another great time to find them is right after a big coastal storm hits the coast.

When you go shelling, please do NOT bring plastic grocery bags! Bring old mesh laundry or lingerie bags, old pillowcases or other types of fabric/mesh bags to hold your goodies. If you find an occupied shell (with living animal still inside) please put it back! Only collect the non-occupied shells or seashells where the animal is deceased or has vacated it. This helps to preserve life and the eco-system of our beautiful planet.
How to Clean Conch and Whelk Shells Found at the Beach

You will want to rinse all of your seashells with tap water to remove sand and debris. Towel or air dry. Wrap them carefully in old bath towels, beach towels, paper towels or bubble wrap for the trip home. (or stuff into socks). Do NOT wrap them in newspaper as the ink will rub off onto your treasures!

Once you are home...wash and clean them again! You can bleach them white (solution of 20% bleach mixed with water, spray onto your shells and sun-dry) or leave them natural. If you want to keep them beautiful...display them in your home to protect them from weather elements which can destroy them over time if left outdoors. If you want to put them outside on display, I recommend that you spray them with 2 coats of clear acrylic spray sealer (found in the spray paint section at your local home & garden supply type of store).
Ideas on How to Display Found & Collected Seashells from the Beach

I like to display all of my small to medium sized seashells in various glass jars, pasta bowls, on crystal cake plates or even in wicker baskets throughout my home. You can display your beach treasures in a gazillion different ways! You can find complete step-by-step directions on how I made my "Beach Treasures" seashell storage jar by visiting HERE. You can display your small tumbled ocean rocks, sea glass and tiny seashells in a regular glass canister like this one HERE  or display them in pretty glass mason jars.

If you want specific step-by-step instructions on how to clean whelk, conch shells and/or how to preserve sand dollars and star can find those directions HERE on my blog too! Enjoy!

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