It is the end of another soggy week on Sanibel. Though there have been periods of sunshine, there have been way more clouds and showers, day and night for over a week. The news today, forecast rain at 100%. Humidity is high and temperatures like the tropics. On the plus side, vegetation is lush and green, from free irrigation. If this sounds like islanders are grumbling, I am. We are so spoiled here – with gorgeous weather so much of the time – that being Susie Sunshine today, is a stretch.
(As a remembrance, the photo below was taken LAST Friday by JMA Photography at our listing at 1238 Isabel Drive in Sanibel Harbours overlooking San Carlos Bay. The new landscaping had just gone in!)
Unfortunately, from runoff this week, tannins again have stained bay waters giving pause to those worried about a change in gulf water quality. Luckily, at least so far, it is just a visual change. The latest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report shows NO red tide in Southwest Florida except a small concentration in just one water sample from Pinellas County, north of here near St Petersburg.
Once the rain subsides, the sand should settle out and the color clear again. From the City’s website, Click here to see the most recent aerial photograph of water conditions at Lighthouse Beach Park.
This week, The SanibelSusan Team finished up their classroom training sessions for the new Multiple Listing Service that goes live here July 26. Between now and then, while old and new systems are running in parallel, we are setting up new searches for our prospects and getting more familiar with the system’s collaboration center which will provide both buyers and seller access to the system data including historical info.
Now that local schools here are back in session, there are fewer vacationers on-island. Some also say that occupancy is off because of the water last summer. The return of part-time residents will pick up as summer wraps up elsewhere.
Schools Back in Session
Regarding Lee County Schools, it was nice to hear that breakfast and lunch will be free at all schools for the 2019-2020 school year. The school district also said that four specialized centers are included in the breakfast/lunch program: Buckingham Exceptional Center, L.A.M.P., Royal Palm Exceptional School and Success Academy. Parents do not need to apply, and “Free and Reduced” meal applications do not need be completed. (They were required in earlier years). Food and Nutrition Services Director Lauren Couchois said, “We realize if a student is hungry, their ability to learn is compromised, providing this benefit will help our students excel.”
Teammate Elise also mentioned that the County school schedule this year goes into early June (usually school is over before Memorial Day) with a few extra days off at Thanksgiving.
Congratulations to Sanibel’s Leaders!
Yesterday, at the 93rd Annual Florida League of Cities Conference in Orlando, Sanibel’s own Mayor Kevin Ruane was sworn in as President of the Florida League of Mayors. With his family and Sanibel’s entire City Council there, he was sworn in by Sanibel’s City Clerk, Pamela Smith. He also posted that Florida’s League of Mayors unanimously approved his priority for 2020 as “President for Water Quality & Water Quantity”.
At this same event, Sanibel Councilor Holly Smith sits on the Municipal Administration Committee of the Florida League. They have chosen “Vacation Rentals” as their priority subject for 2020.
Good things will come from this involvement by our City leaders. Please join me in thanking them for all they do for all of us!
2019 Shared-Use Path Repair Project Begins
The City posted today that the annual repairs to Sanibel’s Shared-Use Paths begins Monday, Aug 19. Every year the City inspects all 26.06 miles of paths and prioritizes repair needs. This year, they total $210K with the contractor required to complete the project within 30 days, weather permitting.
For safety, the areas being repaired will be barricaded off from users. Please take care!
Bailey’s Groceries On Demand
Here’s a Facebook message I saw posted this week by Bailey’s General Store:
“We are excited to announce mobile shopping! With a click of a button, have your groceries delivered to your home, condo, or rental accommodations. Simply download our app “Bailey’s General Store” on the Apple App Store or Android Market, OR click here http://baileys-sanibel.freshopsites.com/shop, add the groceries you need, and have them delivered straight to your door. Shopping has never been easier!”
Why the Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park Is So Cool
Midweek, I chatted with fellow Realtor Sarah Ashton who with her husband Jim Metzler co-chairs the Advocacy Committee for the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society’s Friends of the Refuge. They authored a “cool” guest commentary that was in this week’s “Island Reporter”. I offered my congratulations on the article which serves to educate as well as promote what Sanibel is all about. I hope you enjoy it too.
“The Sanibel Slough, known to most of us as the Sanibel River, feeds fresh water into low-lying swales to create Sanibel’s interior wetland system. As a result, the health of Sanibel Slough is critical to the health of the wildlife that inhabits the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, more than a decade ago, the slough was identified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as being impaired for nutrients, meaning that it does not meet state standards for nitrogen and phosphorus. But we will describe a very cool project that is helping to reduce the nutrient concentrations in the slough.
“The somewhat recently opened Jordan Marsh is a filter marsh, one side of which abuts Casa Ybel Road. The creation of the marsh was funded by the South Florida Water Management District, Lee County impact fees, and the City of Sanibel. A pump located at the rear of the property pulls water out of the Sanibel Slough. The water meanders throughout the marsh before it is return to the slough. Within the marsh, plants such as cattails, bulrush, and pickerelweed, remove excess nutrients.
“If the water is pumped into the marsh at a low rate, it spends a lot of time there, and hence the marsh removes a high percentage of the nutrients. In contrast, if the water is pumped in at a high rate, it spends less time in the marsh and as a result, a lower percentage of the nutrients are removed. However, there is a trade-off. Since the water spends less time in the marsh, it is possible to pump more water through the marsh and hence the marsh can potentially remove a larger amount of nutrients.
“One of the reasons why the Jordan Marsh project is so cool is because it represents a close partnership between the City and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. One part of that cooperation is that the property on which Jordan Marsh was built is comprised of six acres of City-owned land known as the Jordan Marsh Preserve, and a 1.3-acre portion of the 8.5 acres that is within SCCF’s Wigley Preserve.
“The cooperation between the City and SCCF goes much deeper. The City is currently working with SCCF to collect data from the marsh relative to the amount of nutrients that are removed. This data is being analyzed by SCCF’s Marine Laboratory scientists and will be used to determine the overall effectiveness of the marsh and the optimal rate at which water should be pumped into the marsh. And speaking of cooperation, SCCF’s Marine Laboratory is located on property owned by the refuge.
“Another reason that the Jordan Marsh is so cool is that in addition to removing nutrients from the Sanibel Slough, the project also enhances the existing wildlife habitat on the site, providing recreational opportunities such as biking and birding, and educates park visitors on the various techniques being use to improve water quality.
“There is no doubt that solving the water quality issues such as cleaning up Lake Okeechobee will take considerable help from the federal government and the state. There is also no doubt that the biggest reason that Jordan Marsh is so cool is that it is a cooperative effort of many local groups to solve a problem in our own backyard.”
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 9-16, 2019
No new listings.
2 price changes: Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $600K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 now $1.495M.
No new sales.
3 closed sales: Signal Inn #4 1/1 $490K (our listing), Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 $495K, By-The-Sea #C1023/2 $1.525M.
1 new listing: 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $699.9K.
1 price change: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $439K.
2 new sales: 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.169M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $1.595M.
4 closed sales: 6496 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 $860K, 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 $875K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 $900K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $937.5K.
No new listings.
2 price changes: 2133 Starfish Ln now $399K, 3308 St. Kilda Rd now $479,555.
No new or closed sales.
1 new listing: Marina Villas #606 2/2 $739K.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Beach Villas #2436 3/2 listed at $825K.
2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3230 2/2 $450K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 $760K.
No new listings.
1 price change: 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 now $2.95M.
No new or closed sales.
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, I hope your days are drier than here!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan