Public meeting held to figure out how to protect Sanibel, Captiva from sea-level rise

A public meeting was held Friday to figure out how to protect Sanibel and Captiva islands.

A final report looks at what parts of the islands are vulnerable in the face of sea-level rise.

At the meeting, experts talked directly with homeowners about their findings.

“We love it. It’s a glorious place. The people are so friendly and there’s so much to do,” part-time Sanibel resident said of the island.

One “to-do” is getting involved.

“Just thought we’d come over and find out a little more about it,” said South Fort Myers part-time resident, Bob Donlin. “I’ve been concerned about the sea level rise for quite a while.”

The City of Sanibel and FGCU hosted the public workshop highlighting a report about coastal vulnerability. While Sanibel and Captiva, for the most part, faired well in the study, there are a couple of areas of concern like the portion of Sanibel-Captiva Road south of Blind Pass.

However, construction is underway to protect the road.

“For the most part, our communities here on Sanibel and Captiva, the way we’ve managed our islands in the past, the way we’ve conserved our island resources, the way we’ve renourished our beaches, is working,” said City of Sanibel Director of Natural Resources James Evans.

But that doesn’t mean the work stops here. The next step is to use models to determine what kind of effects storms and sea-level rise will have on communities in the future. Researchers are waiting for funding from the state.

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
Writer:Briana Harvath
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