Sanibel Island

 

Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore, try saying that three times in a row…or visit Sanibel Island for it’s world renowned shelling opportunities!

Sanibel’s unique geographical features account for some of the reasons as to why Sanibel Island is known for its shelling opportunities. Sanibel is part of a barrier island that extends into the Gulf of Mexico for miles; this barrier island acts as a shelf for seashells to gather. Additionally, the island of Sanibel has an east-west orientation, whereas most islands are north-south, which helps so many sea shells to gather on the island.

More than half of Sanibel Island is made up of wildlife refuges, making it a great place for nature lovers! With boardwalks and countless places to canoe and kayak, there is something for anyone. The main force behind the preservation on the island is the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation whose mission is to preserve natural resources and wildlife habitat.

 

Places of Interest

Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum

Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum is the only museum in the world that is entirely dedicated to the study of shells and the mollusks that make them. Inside the museum, visitors can find a wealth of shell knowledge, including surprising facts and even rare shells! In a nut-shell, this museum is a shell’ing good time!

J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Refuge

The J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Refuge consists of more than 6,400 acres of mangrove forests, submerged seagrass beds, cordgrass marshes, and West Indian hardwood hammocks. Thus making the refuge part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States.  It is also world famous among birders for it’s spectacular migratory bird populations and for being home to over 245 species of birds.

Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)

CROW is a visitor education center and is home to one of the nation’s leading wildlife rehabilitation centers. Each year, over  4,000 wildlife patients receive care at their facility. The facility is dedicated to saving wildlife through care, research, education, and conservation medicine.

 

Sources:

http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/sanibel-island.html

http://www.amusingplanet.com/2012/08/4-amazing-shell-beaches-around-world.html

http://www.shellmuseum.org/about

http://crowclinic.org/history/crows-story/

http://www.fws.gov/dingdarling/VisitorInformation.html

http://dingdarlingsociety.org/about-us

Images

Sanibel Seashells-Amanda Brown

J.N. 'Ding' Darling Wildlife Refuge Kayaking-Amanda Brown

'Oz' the Bald Eagle- Courtney Eichinger