We want your holiday to be a comfortable and relaxing one. Here are some ways you can enjoy the environment here and make a difference.
LIVE SHELLS are home to creatures of the sea. While they are interesting to study, it is important to preserve them by placing them back into the water and looking for other shells that are no longer living. There's no shortage! The taking of any live shells on Sanibel or Captiva is prohibited by law. Violations are subject to a fine of $400 per shell.
SPEED LIMITS are low here. Enjoy our leisurely pace and ensure the safety of thousands of creatures with whom we share our islands. These include raccoons, herons and armadillos who trust we won't hurt them with our vehicles. If you do find an injured animal or bird, call C.R.O.W. (Care & Rehabilitation of Wildlife), located on Sanibel-Captiva Road, at 472-3644. Thanks for caring.
SUNBURNS are a common sight here. Most people find it hard to believe that the skin can burn on cloudy or cool days. Be sure to use protective lotion while outside a burn the first day can keep you inside for several, putting a damper on your trip. If your lotion irritates your skin, switch lotions or consult a doctor. Also, be aware that certain drugs, including oral contraceptives, may cause a photo-allergic reaction to the skin.
STINGRAYS are beautiful creatures gliding effortlessly through the water. These gentle fish sometimes lie on the bottom in shallow water to sleep or feed. Often times they are slightly buried in the sand and are, therefore nearly invisible. You would be surprised if something 20 times your weight stepped on you, and so are they! If frightened, their natural defense is to swing their barbed tail toward the threat. This painful injury is entirely avoidable by shuffling your feet when you wade in the water. If you sustain a puncture wound, immediate medical attention is needed to clean and care for the wound.
ALLIGATORS are another fascinating creature you can observe here in southwest Florida. In general they retreat from humans, but DON'T APPROACH THEM. They are very quick on their feet! Most importantly, DON'T FEED THE ALLIGATORS. Once they expect food from humans they become a threat and often have to be killed.
FISHING LINE, PLASTIC BAGS AND SIX-PACK RINGS are the greatest threat to our wildlife here. Birds become entangled and loggerhead tortoises swallow bags. Properly disposing of your litter here saves lives. We also suggest taking something to the beach in which you can dispose of cigarette butts.