Virginia bay filled with cannonballs

Aug. 24, 2008 at 4:37 PM

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Military officials are openly firing away with information about what's in the water around Virginia's Fort Monroe.

Over most of the last two centuries, cannons and large guns have fired projectiles, including some as big as 1,000 pounds, into Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads. The Army's Final Historical Records Review for Fort Monroe includes 20 pages of weaponry, and says cannonballs and munitions could have landed in an area as large as 134,977 acres, The Daily Press of Newport News reported Sunday.

Of course, debris at the bottom of the Chesapeake came from other branches of the military as well as the Army. The bay was also the site of many naval engagements, including Revolutionary and Civil War battles.

Now the Army and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality are negotiating the military's responsibility for locating and removing munitions before the Army leaves Fort Monroe in September 2011.

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