Our owners are among our many blessings on Sanibel. They’re a main reason why Ocean’s Reach is truly a “family” and we feel privileged to share in a part of their lives.
We received this beautiful arrangement from Jim Lewis earlier this week informing us that he is transferring ownership of his unit to his daughter, Nancy. While it’s a bittersweet moment for all of us, we’ll always carry wonderful memories of Mary Lou in our hearts, and we’re grateful that Jim isn’t going too far away.
We’re fortunate that Jim now lives at Shell Point — just down the road — and we look forward to still seeing him often. As with all of our dear friends, he knows that he has an open invitation to drop by and visit anytime!
We warmly welcome Nancy and Tom to the Ocean’s Reach family, and want to share Jim’s beautiful note below:
Dear Ocean’s Reach Staff:
After forty-two years as an owner in paradise, the time has
come for me to move on. The memories and pleasures of
living by the seaside are something to behold, truly one of
My beloved daughter, Nancy, is the new owner of 2B3.
The Ocean’s Reach staff is second-to-none, always there in
time of need, with a cheerful attitude and a smiling face. It is
comforting to know there is someone available to answer a
question, fix a problem, or just talk to. Thanks to everyone,
your kindness and friendship shall be forever remembered.
With fond memories, and my love,
Even though you’re on vacation, you just might learn a thing or two during your next visit to the island!
Highlighting the history of Sanibel, the new Sanibel Heritage Trail was unveiled recently. Touted as an “outdoor museum” of sorts, the Heritage Trail consists of 22 educational panels located throughout the island.
While visitors can learn much of island’s early history at the Sanibel Historical Museum, the new panels address topics of Sanibel’s history left unspoken for, including: agriculture, architecture, causeway, commerce, community, conservation, education, environment, fishing, governance, hospitality, navigation, pioneers, preservation, racial integration, recreation, wildlife and worship.
There’s no order or sequence to the panels, so visitors can start the trail wherever they’d like. While the majority of the project is done, one part still under construction — a smartphone app that will serve as a digital map guide to the trail — is expected to be ready in a few months.
The Heritage Trail took about 3 1/2 years to complete, and coordinators strongly encourage the public to stop and take a look, and perhaps learn something new along the way.
Pictured here is an early 1950’s image of Bill Shannon in front of his palm frond house. He and his wife, Mae, opened the Sunshine Cafe on Palm Avenue (now Andy Rosse Lane) on Captiva Island in 1951.
The History Gallery, developed by the Captiva Island Historical Society, features many photos like this. All ages are welcome to step aboard a wooden replica of the old mailboat, Santiva, to capture the spirit of Captiva and learn through graphic and video panels about the events and people that shaped the island. The History Gallery is accessed through the Captiva Memorial Library, located on Chapin Lane and open during library hours.
Call 1-239-533-4890 for information or visit the Captiva Island Historical Society website at www.captivaislandhistoricalsociety.org/archives/research to view many more images that will bring you closer to a time gone by.
Volunteers loading a trailer with buckets filled with oyster shells during last week’s oyster restoration program sponsored by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation; photo by Jeff Lysiak.
Nearly two dozen volunteers recently joined the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF) ongoing effort to restore oyster bed populations in San Carlos Bay and Tarpon Bay by filling hundreds of buckets of oyster shells and deploying them by barge into local waterways where a number of artificial reefs have been established.
Two large mounds of oyster shells collected from local restaurants were shoveled by volunteers into sturdy plastic buckets. One by one, the buckets were filled, carried onto a trailer, and then transported to Tarpon Bay to a waiting barge next to SCCF’s Marine Lab facility.
“We’ve been collecting oyster shells from restaurants like Timbers and the Lazy Flamingo since 2010,” said Dr. Eric Milbrandt, director of SCCF’s Marine Lab. “We get about 45 gallons of shells every week, and even more during the holidays, so there’s always a lot of shells for us to work with.”
According to Milbrandt, harmful freshwater discharges have resulted in losses of oysters and seagrasses in the Caloosahatchee Estuary. Deploying oyster shells on newly created artificial reefs will help re-establish critical estuarine habitats of shellfish and submerged aquatic vegetation beds.
“What this will do is allow the oyster larvae to attach to it and grow along the reef,” Milbrandt explained. “Once you get a few of them to attach that way, they begin to attach to each other.”
Among the benefits of helping restore eastern oyster populations are the formation of intertidal reefs in the local estuary, providing a habitat for fish and invertebrates, stabilizing shorelines and preventing erosion. Additionally, SCCF is hoping the artificial reefs will become living classrooms used as research platforms.
The oyster restoration initiative, started by SCCF with shell deployments in Clam Bayou, has seen phenomenal success over the years. More than 100 cubic yards of oyster shell has been deployed thus far, with 54 barge loads used to disperse the shells. As a result, seven complete oyster reefs comprising approximately four acres have been created in areas like San Carlos Bay and Tarpon Bay.
“Because we’ve seen so much success with this effort, we want to expand the habitat from a quarter of an acre for each reef to a full acre,” said Milbrandt. “If we hadn’t started this program, these oyster shells would just go into the landfill, so it’s also beneficial that we’re returning them to nature.”
Thanks to our friends at the Island Sun for this story!
Look who showed up as leftover turkey on the beaches of Sanibel!
Guest Renee H. from North Grafton, MA, sent us this photo, saying that “I knew there’d be a Sand Turkey somewhere in sight of Ocean’s Reach! Thank for another wonderful Thanksgiving!!”
Thank you, Renee, for the great photo! We look forward to your return visit!