It’s been quite a week on Sanibel. Before I get into the leading island news, be sure and check out the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity since last Friday. It follows the “water” scoop and other news below.
Early this afternoon, teammate Elise and I took a ride to check on the progress of the summer paver project at Spanish Cay (it’s coming along, with only a small area yet to be completed) and to take a couple of beach photos to post here. There were several cars parked at the Fulgur Street beach access when we pulled in, but the riders walked down the boardwalk, barely making it to the beach before they all turned, to return to their cars and leave.
I also made it to the beach. But didn’t stay but a minute. The strong smell and throat irritation from the red tide deters even the hearty. There were hardly any people on the beach in either direction. The above are three shots are looking west up the beach toward Sundial, south, and east toward the mainland and Ft Myers Beach.
Southwest Florida Water Update
You likely have heard or read about the waters in Southwest Florida and the Gulf coast being in crisis from harmful blooms causing mass mortality of aquatic life. Waterways and beaches are littered with fish, dolphins, manatees, birds, shellfish, etc. The cause? Pollution from harmful high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients that are feeding two different harmful blooms.”
These two blooms are described in The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF’s) “Call to Action” that was emailed yesterday to their members:
- “Freshwater cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae) that looks like neon green paint in Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River reaching coastal back bays and beaches. This algae is an indicator of polluted water than can turn very potent toxins on and off. Toxins can persist in the water and sand even after the visible signs of a bloom are gone. The current bloom began in Lake Okeechobee on June 7, 2018.
- “Red tide is cause by a marine (saltwater) microscopic dinoflagellate that turns water a red color. It blooms offshore and moves onshore feeding off nutrients. The Gulf Coast has been experiencing an extraordinary event since October 2017 along the southwest gulf coast. Toxins released by this organism kill marine life, makes shellfish poisonous to eat, and causes eye and throat irritation when present.
“The two blooms are independent and not related, however, both are responding to excess nutrients from watershed AND Lake Okeechobee “runoff”.
“We all contribute to the excess nutrient problem so we all have to work toward solutions. We must ask elected officials to stop eroding environmental protections. Stop permitting wetland development. Establish water quality standards, and upgrade stormwater regulations for both urban and agriculture.”
The Lake O water release solution is not going to be quick a fix and there are many parts to the problem solving. Much has been done, but most of the solutions still are being constructed, funded, or planned. The Feds have partially funded some of the Lake O work, but this project will take years. The Florida legislature also has put millions toward a solution. Florida Senate Bill 10 recently passed and was signed into law so none of its initiatives have been implemented. It is touted as the strongest ever legislation for Everglades restoration.
A few weeks ago, the White House backed the EAA reservoir. (EAA stands for Everglades Agricultural Reservoir.) It is one of the central components of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The reservoir would hold water from Lake O and farm run-off in the wet season and release water south in the dry season. While funding is expected to be included as part of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, the request for funding still needs to be approved by the U.S. Senate.
The Feds also just sent the state $3+million, specifically to assist with local municipalities dealing with the algae blooms. Here islanders are thankful that the City of Sanibel is cleaning the beaches and has brought in contractor help because the volume is so high. Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra is posting daily updates on www.MySanibel.com with descriptions of the status at various beaches.
Last week, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would slow the discharges from Lake O, but we cannot let up in our push with local, state, and federal governments officials.
As island lovers and property owners, understanding and being informed on the “water” issue will help get us through this crisis. The red tide algae eventually will disappear just as it has almost every year going back as far as when it was first documented in the 1840’s. It is unfortunate that those here on their annual vacations are seeing the beaches at their worst.
I know I have posted before asking you to reply to a Call-For-Action. But today, I ask again. Please use the following blue link to go to SCCF’s easy form for sending emails. https://p2a.co/Yl1Gebl
Facts From FWC About Red Tide and Ongoing Bloom
Sourced to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and posted locally after the young whale shark beached here on July 22.
- “FWC has been monitoring the bloom since it started in November.
- “The bloom has moved north and south along the coast several times as a result of wind and currents.
- “FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline has received more than 300 fish kill reports and requests for info associated with the bloom.
- “Fish kills have been reported in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, and Monroe counties; some of the affected species include grouper, trout, eel, snook, tarpon, hardhead catfish, baitfish.
- “Red tides are a common occurrence along Florida’s Gulf coast and fish populations have evolved to be resilient to the impact.
- “There have been several red tide events over the last 20 years and fish and fisheries are able to rebound even after severe and prolonged red tide events.
- “In addition to fish kills, red tides can cause illness and death to aquatic wildlife including marine mammals, sea turtles, and birds.
- “FWC staff have been out in the field to confirm species identification and location, estimate of number of dead fish and obtain samples from fish carcasses.”
Next Week at Florida Realtors®
Next week is Florida Realtors® 102nd Convention and Trade Show followed by their annual business meetings. This lucky girl is serving on five committees this year and though we manage to get most committee work done through the year by emails and phone calls, we expect to finalize many projects over the few days when we are all together in Orlando.
While I am away, SanibelSusan teammates, Dave, Elise, and Lisa will be here keeping our business humming, while I’ll be in touch with them, mostly through email. One of the topics that will be discussed at the meetings is water quality. Our local Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has been fighting for improved water quality for years. In Orlando at FloridaRealtors®, it is on the agenda at the Legislative Think Tank Land Use Group and probably also will be discussed in the Resort & 2nd Homes Specialist Breakout Group. There, I will hear about how similar “water” problems are affecting our business on both west and east coasts.
Island Summer Openings/Closings
- Sanibel Public Library Reopens – The Library reopened on Wednesday for normal hours of operation after being closed for its updating/modernization project. While renovations continue, their temporary main entrance is on the west side of the building. Library hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays. For more info, call them at 239-472-2483. More info at www.sanlib.org.
- Local Schools Opening Soon – How can summer be almost over? Open houses for the Sanibel School are Wed, August 8, with the 2018-2019 school year beginning on Fri, August 10. More info at www.sbl.leeschools.net.
Why Won’t My HOA Board Listen To Me?
Here is some good advice that was posted yesterday on-line at FloridaRealtors®. It was published in the Fort Lauderdale “Sun Sentinel” and written by Gary M. Singer.
“Question: I live in a beautiful community that is well maintained by the board and its various committees. All is great, except for the roads – they are ugly with oil marks and patched areas. I have asked about this, but it does not seem to be a priority of the board of directors. How do I get the board to address this issue? – Philip
“Answer: Most people who want to get their board’s attention try to bring up a new issue at the public board meeting. This is not a good idea and will most likely not work.
“A board meeting is a business meeting and should be run from an agenda of items known to all in advance so that the members and directors have ample time to research and consider the issues to be dealt with during that meeting. The common tactic of trying to embarrass or ambush the board at the meeting almost always backfires. Simply, the board meeting is not the time to introduce a new issue.
“The better method is to send your board a letter outlining your concern. Try to be detailed and propose solutions. Explain why you think it is an essential use of the community’s resources, bearing in mind that other residents may have differing priorities. Send the letter by certified mail to ensure it gets the attention it deserves.
“If it still does not make the agenda, try again, or even better, get some neighbors to write in, too. Many voices will hold more sway than just one.
“Finally, if, after all of these efforts, the existing board does not share your priorities for the community, you should consider running for the board at the next election. When you are a board member, you are able to help set the agenda and get your ideas pushed through. At least, that is, if enough of your neighbors agree with you.
“About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.”
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 27-August 3, 2018
No new listings.
1 price change: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $757.5K.
3 new sales: Coquina Beach #5F 2/2 listed at $495K, Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 listed at $499K, Loggerhead Cay #184 2/2 listed at $789K.
6 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 $463.5K, Loggerhead Cay #483 2/2 $517.5K, Loggerhead Cay #342 2/2 $550K, Kimball Lodge #303 1/2 $595K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 $725K, Seawind II #5 2/2 $760K.
No new listings.
5 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $469K, 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $479K, 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex now $499K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $799K, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.444M.
3 new sales: 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 listed at $549K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 listed at $639K, 413 Bell Vista Way E 4/4 listed at $2.495M.
3 closed sales: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 $380K, 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex $445K, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 $2.085M.
No new listings, new or closed sales.
1 closed sale: 5340 Punta Caloosa Ct $1.33M.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 listed at $352.5K.
No closed sales.
2 new listings: 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 $2.8M, 1102 Tallow Tree Ct 5/4 $2.995M.
No price changes.
3 new sales: 16181 Captiva Dr 4/4 multi-family listed at $1.895M, 16177 Captiva Dr 2/2 listed at $3.395M, 16179 Captiva Dr 6/6 multi-family listed at $5.095M.
1 closed sale: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 $1.1M.
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Until next Friday, wishing you sunshine, clean beaches, and summertime fun!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan