Island Update

Property tax valuations go up on islands

Early preliminary property tax valuations for Sanibel and Captiva have increased over 2021.

The Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office released its estimated tax roll values on June 1, which indicate a 12.13 percent increase for the city of Sanibel and a 15.93 percent increase for Captiva as part of unincorporated Lee County. Early estimated valuations for the fire districts on the islands also rose.

The official numbers will come out by July 1, then be sent to Tallahassee for state approval.

According to estimates, Sanibel’s taxable value rose approximately $680.78 million — the 12.13 percent — to about $6.29 billion. Assessed value increased 11.66 percent to about $6.63 billion, up $692.04 million from 2021. Just value rose 32.39 percent to about $8.57 billion, up $2.10 billion.

Also for Sanibel, taxable new construction increased from approximately $12.38 million to $23.07 million, while total just new construction climbed from about $15.70 million to $23.70 million.

County estimates, which include Captiva, show an approximate $15.29 billion rise in taxable value — the 15.93 percent — to about $111.29 billion. Assessed value increased 14.48 percent to about $130.24 billion, up $16.48 billion. Just value jumped 30.25 percent to about $173.27 billion, up $40.25 billion.

Also for the county, taxable new construction rose from approximately $2.16 billion to $3.29 billion, while total just new construction increased from about $2.29 billion to $3.58 billion. As for the county’s taxable school value, it jumped approximately $23.77 billion to $128.38 billion — up 22.72 percent.

In addition, early estimates for the Sanibel Fire and Rescue District and Captiva Island Fire Control District, plus Upper Captiva Fire District, have increased year-over-year, according to the information.

The Sanibel district rose 11.87 percent to approximately $6.42 billion, up about $680.77 million. The Captiva district saw a 11.87 percent growth to about $1.72 billion — a $182.79 million difference.

Upper Captiva experienced a 20.04 percent rise to about $288.49 million, up $48.17 million.

Island Update

RSW Airport New June 2022

New air service at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)
Breeze Airways: nonstop to Las Vegas (LAS) and Charleston, South Carolina (CHS), twice weekly, beginning June 11.
Eurowings Discover: Frankfurt, Germany (FRA), weekly, year-round service
Alaska Airlines: Seattle (SEA) weekly, year-round service.

Island Update

Sea turtle nesting season picking up

As of May 18, sea turtle nesting activity had started to pick up with a total of 62 loggerhead nests on the islands’ beaches, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reported. Staff and volunteers have been working each morning to survey the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva for signs in the sand of sea turtles that have come ashore.
Four teams monitor different stretches of beach every morning at dawn, collecting data from turtle nests and false crawls. If it is determined that the area is a nesting site, it is then marked off with yellow stakes, a screen to discourage predation and informative signage.

Volunteers Gwenda Hiett-Clements and Nancy Riley, who is a designated east end permittee, marked the first nest on the east end of Sanibel on May 4. As permittee, Riley documents crawls and nests reported by walkers on the east end, from Tarpon Bay Road Beach to the Sanibel Lighthouse.

As of May 18, Sanibel and Captiva had collectively logged 62 loggerhead sea turtle nests, compared to 76 reported nests on the same date last year. Forty-four had been laid on the west end of Sanibel, seven on the east end of Sanibel, and 11 on Captiva.

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Island Update

Registration open for 4th of July Annual Rally

On July 4, starting at noon, the 42nd annual Road Rally begins outside Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market on Sanibel. This year’s proceeds will be donated to Community Housing and Resources. The event has been managed by the Sanibel Captiva Optimist Club until this year, when it was transferred to a new organization called The Friends of Randy of Sanibel.

Interested participants are encouraged to sign up early; registration will be limited to 50 vehicles.

In addition, past and potential new sponsors are invited to pitch in with donations. The registration form for participants is available at the Sanibel Cafe and Bailey’s General Store. For early or preferred start time, contact Randy at 239-699-8739 or rcarsonsan@gmail.com. For more information or to donate, call Randy, Tim at 941-626-2943, or Allen at 239-699-9474.

Island Update

F.I.S.H. announces annual 10K 2022

The 14th Annual 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H. will be held in conjunction with the Fort Myers Track Club on Sunday, Oct. 22. Due to concerns about the pandemic, the event was held virtually the last two years.

Participating runners will receive a race tank with the F.I.S.H. logo on the front. In addition, F.I.S.H. is hoping to add a kids run, business expo and other opportunities to make this year’s 10K an extra special event focused on the organization’s 40th anniversary.

For information on sponsorships, as well as 10K Days — opportunities for island businesses to showcase their establishments and support F.I.S.H. — visit https://www.fishofsancap.org/.

For more information, contact Cortese at Dianerc10@gmail.com or Race Committee Chair Nicole McHale at noel2me@icloud.com

Island Update

Ocean Tribe Paddling Club to host course

The Ocean Tribe Paddling Club will host a Coastal Kayaking Basic Rescue Skills course on May 5 from 1 to 3 p.m.; meet on the Causeway Island A — closest to the toll booth — at 12:45 p.m.

The course is for paddlers who want to learn basic fundamentals of rescuing their selves and others while kayaking. When paddling, one never knows the dangers that could be in the waters ahead. Learn how to get back in a kayak and help someone else if necessary.

Participants can bring their own vessel. Club members can reserve a loaner vessel in advance by contacting OTP@sccf.org. For more membership information, visit https://oceantribeoutfitters.org/.

To attend, RSVP at https://oceantribeoutfitters.org/eventsandregistration.

Island Update

2-for-1 Diner’s Delight books valid for use

The Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club’s 2022 Diner’s Delight coupon book is now valid through Dec. 16. It contains two-for-one coupons for many island eateries, for a possible savings of over $500. The books are available for a $40 contribution. Proceeds from the fundraiser are used by the club to support its Scholarship Fund for local students and grants to island youth recreation and education programs. The books can be obtained from Kiwanis members or at Bailey’s General Store, Bank of the Islands, Big Red Q Printing, Island Pharmacy, Island Winds Coiffures, Periwinkle Park office, SanCap Pak-N-Ship, and Sanibel Captiva Community Bank.

Island Update

Summer fees for Wildlife Drive

The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge, announced that admission fees will remain the same after the season ends for Wildlife Drive at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, located at 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel.

The $10 vehicle entry fee is valid for three consecutive days of admission, starting annually on May 1 and running through September. Keep your receipt to show at the entrance fee booth upon returning. Cyclists and pedestrians ages 16 and older pay $1 per visit.

Island Update

Greater amberjack season opens in Gulf waters

The recreational harvest of greater amberjack will open in Gulf state and federal waters from May 1-31. Following a June-July closure, recreational harvest is scheduled to reopen again from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31.

If you plan to fish for greater amberjack or certain other reef fish species in Gulf or Atlantic state or federal waters from a private recreational vessel (includes anglers over 65 years of age), you must sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler prior to your fishing trip. It is a no-cost designation that must be renewed annually. Sign up at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com and visit MyFWC.com/SRFS to learn more.

Island Update

First sea turtle nest of the season found on Sanibel

First sea turtle nest of the season found on Sanibel’s west end.

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation has recorded its first sea turtle nest of the season.

Sea Turtle nest

On April 27, a loggerhead nest was discovered on the west end of Sanibel.

“Today marks the same day as the first nest in 2021. Our sea turtle team was excited to get sandy knees again as they put up the vivid yellow stakes that protect nests on our islands,” it reported at the time.

The SCCF also recorded the first false crawl of the season on the west end on April 27.

Sea turtle monitoring originally began on Sanibel in the 1950s with Charles LeBuff and Caretta Research Inc., making it one of the longest-running monitoring programs in the country. When Caretta Research disbanded in 1992, the SCCF took over the program and continues to manage it today.

Loggerhead is the most common marine turtle species to nest on the islands, followed by the green sea turtle. Leatherbacks and Kemp’s ridleys are rarer, but they have nested on Sanibel-Captiva before.