Florida: Sanibel Island is different from the rest of the United States

NSIt sure wouldn’t hurt to meet a relaxed shark. Especially if the animal has every reason to lose its temper and explode in one leg or the other. or forearm.

Hunter Ray Jackson goes home with all his limbs that evening. However, a 14-year-old is unlikely to forget a day at the beach on Sanibel Island – or how often does a full-grown black shark accidentally dangle on a fishing path?

Fighting meter after meter, all the way down the pier to the shore, Hunter did not leave the machine with predatory fish on the hook. Now the shark is lying alive in the sand while the surging waves of the Gulf of Mexico sweep its two-meter gray body.

Source: world infographic

Already more than 30 people hurry to admire it. “It doesn’t matter that I don’t bring a fish for dinner,” the young man said, pointing to the cell phone cameras. Shortly thereafter, Hunter and his companion carefully grabbed the animal by the fins to maneuver it back into the water—”out of respect,” Hunter says. It takes a few tries before the shark disappears into the sea again.

Florida stereotypes don’t apply to Sanibel Island

in a China Shark fin probably ended up in the soup pot a long time ago. However, on Sanibel Island, the animals are under nature protection – as is the whole of Lee County, which also includes neighboring Captiva Island, which was once separated from Sanibel by a hurricane and several other islands as well as the towns of Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

The strict requirements of the “Sanibel Universal Use Plan” regulate not only fishing, but also the construction of buildings. There are no restaurant or hotel chains on the island, which is 20 kilometers long and five kilometers wide. No new home should top a palm tree in the area.

Florida: The Gulf of Mexico washes thousands of shells on the shores of Sanibel Island every day, while mussel fishermen roam in a bent position.

The Gulf of Mexico washes thousands of shells on the shores of dreams every day, as mussel fishermen roam in a bent position

Source: pa / Philippe Turp / Photonstop

Captiva’s only Starbucks store was around when the laws went into effect in 1974. No advertising posters anywhere, street lights nowhere to be installed – after all, sea turtles are supposed to find their way into the sea at night, only Through the moonlight. The beach belongs to flora and fauna. Beach hotels have to put their sun loungers away every evening.

While many Florida vacationers think of adventure-oriented, party-loving cities like Miami and Orlando, time seems to stand still on Sanibel Island. The penetration rate is lower than anywhere else in America. Bicycles are replacing fat cars. After all, no air conditioning system in the world can keep up with the breeze coming in from the Gulf of Mexico.

Show off as in the rest of the USA

In almost every respect, life on the islands couldn’t be more exotic to American everyday life. Just when it comes to eating, Brutzen seems like the rest of the world United States of America It is still allowed. In the “Bubble Room” In Captiva, for example, guests are served large pieces of cake so that they must allow a period of time for consumption.

Sanibel Island's strict building regulations apply: no new home may rise above the tallest palm tree in the area.

Sanibel Island’s strict building regulations apply: no new home may rise above the tallest palm tree in the area.

Source: pa / Philippe Turp / Photonstop

But physical well-being is also linked to the preservation of nature. The smell of fresh sausage wafts over the palm-lined parking lot of the Sanibel Public Library. Every Sunday, about 50 local vendors serve up fresh, healthy food: BBQ herb mixes, purple carrots, cabbage-sized beef steaks, tomatoes, kombucha, and naturally gluten-free bread.

Jean Pere and Betsy Ventura stand behind a podium with information brochures. Both women, in their early fifties, are the organizers of this and eight other farmers’ markets in the area. “With platform fees, we support a different nonprofit each week dedicated to people or nature,” says Beer. Her favorite anecdote: “Once upon a time a man automatically filled out a check. Amount: $200,000!”

Most of the coral reefs have been destroyed

There is always reason to be concerned about underwater nature, as a visit to the Sanibel Conch Museum shows. “To get to the mussels, manufacturers blow up entire coral reefs and kill the slugs,” zoologist Lee Jae explains to a visitor, pointing to her earrings with young mussels on long copper threads. The visitor is standing there, embarrassed, her cheeks turning dark red. “But you didn’t know that,” the 29-year-old museum employee reassured her.

According to the US Oceanographic Agency (NOAA) (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), more than 80 percent of coral reefs off Florida have already been destroyed – a fatal discovery. Underwater rock structures are home to millions of species and act as a natural barrier to protect coastlines from storm surge.

Florida: At the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, you can learn a lot about mollusks

You can learn a lot about mollusks at the National Billy-Matthews Museum Shell

Quelle: pa / NurPhoto / Creative Touch Imaging Ltd

who – which Billy Matthews National Shell Museum, the official name of Leigh Gay’s employer, is the only hotel of its kind in the United States and has even made it a bestselling “1000 Places To See Before You Die” hotel. The aquarium wanders around the reefs, fish and of course the mollusks that carry mussels.

The team provides information on all aspects of the life of local and global mollusks. One learns, for example, that the “house” that mollusks seem to drag with them is an integral part of their bodies – like the skeleton in humans.

Beautiful beaches on the Gulf of Mexico

The museum is located on Sanibel Island for no reason: the bay washes thousands of shells on the shores of dreams every day, while mussel fishermen stroll in a sloping position. The locals created their own expressions for this: “Sanibel stop” (Sanibal level) and “Captiva crouch” (Captiva crutch).

Staying all days on the platform, kayaking in the mangrove forests, discovering more than 400 islands by boat: if you can’t relax here, where? Just don’t think about what happened in 2010: at that time, the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig caught fire and sank. About 800 million liters of oil flowed into the sea for 87 days. Even today, traces of oil can be found in the Gulf of Mexico.

Florida, USA: Over 200 species of birds live on Sanibel Island - white pelicans can also be seen here

More than 200 species of birds live on Sanibel Island – you can also see white pelicans here

Cowell: Getty Images / imageBROKER RF / Winfried Schafer

One third of the Sanibel Islands are now under nature protection. JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Reserve has spread over 2,600 hectares since 1945. The state park named after the cartoonist and environmental activist includes crocodiles, manatees, and more than 200 species of birds. In winter, rare white swans fall – a popular photo opportunity.

Hunter Ray Jackson, the boy from the beach, will keep the shark’s photo as a keepsake. Who knows if he will ever approach the animal again. Because according to research reports, sharks are rarely seen, at least on the southeast coast of Florida, due to rising water temperatures and sea levels. They have now moved to the deep waters outside Atlantic Warped, many nautical miles from Sanibel.

Sunset on the Gulf of Mexico: The beaches on Sanibel Island promise ultimate relaxation

Sunset on the Gulf of Mexico: The beaches on Sanibel Island promise ultimate relaxation

Cowell: Getty Images / Gallo Images ROOTS / Danita Delimont

Tips and information

Heading there: Discover Eurowings It will fly direct from Frankfurt to Fort Myers from March 2022. United Airlines brings vacationers from Frankfurt via Chicago to southwest Florida; from Munich starts around delta.

Accommodation: from “Twin Waters Island Resort & Spa“On Captiva boat tours you drive through the mangrove forests ( bed for four from about 230 euros). Which – which “West Wind Island Resort“It is located on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico (About for 4 people from about 170 euros).

Information desk: fortmyers-sanibel.com

Participation in the trip was supported by The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. You can find our standards for transparency and journalistic independence at axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit.

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