City of Sanibel, FGCU Water School team up to pinpoint vulnerabilities of sea-level rise

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
Published: Updated:
Hurricane Michael causing flooding at Blind Pass on Sanibel. Courtesy: Jason Maughn.

As sea levels rise, the question turns to, what needs to be saved: Natural resources, cultural spaces, buildings?

Visitors on Sanibel Island will tell you they love things like walking the beaches, shelling, and bicycling.

Ron Pfeiffer of Ohio said his parents came here when he was in college and he’s been coming ever since, “We do have a second home here.”

The City of Sanibel and FGCU teamed up to study Sanibel and Captiva islands’ vulnerability in the face of sea-level rise and more intense storms.

The City’s natural resources director James Evans believes they fared pretty well in the analysis.

However, he says, “The project that we’re working on right now just south of Blind Pass … that is one of the areas that was identified as the most vulnerable area on Sanibel, so we’re addressing that right now.”

FGCU Water School professor Dr. Michael Savarese also discussed the area’s most important assets.

“Everything from condominiums to homes and hotels, that’s oh so important to the economic fabric of life on Sanibel and Captiva,” he said.

Dr. Savarese added that, while sea-level rise happens gradually over time, “anything that we can do to mitigate those effects is going to benefit our community.” Taking the steps now to prepare the islands for the future.

If you are interested in learning more about the report, the city of Sanibel and FGCU will host a public workshop on Friday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way.

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