Saturday, October 22, 2011

The good, the bad and the Ugly about Sanibel Island

A young relative of mine, wildly enthusiastic about wild life, is visiting Sanibel with her family.

They are staying at our condo on the Island and we were able to get to our house there today to have dinner for everyone.

It was a lovely time, but the conversation disturbed me.

She and her family were on the beach over the last several days and at one point observed a Cormorant who appeared quite listless. Because she handles wild animals in her career as a naturalist, she knew what to do to rescue the bird from the beach and was able to get it to C.R.O.W. (the Center for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) to see what was wrong.

While C.R.O.W. does an amazing job in saving injured and sick animals on the island and all over the area, they were not able to help the Cormorant. It was undetermined exactly what caused the illness, so we can't jump to the conclusion that it was caused by human hands.

But when I heard some other stories of beach goers taking live shells from the beach, I could not help but wonder if there are people coming to the Island who do not know the rules. I felt especially so when I also heard of another couple who were tramping around in the cordoned off dune areas where birds and turtles nest.

For my own visiting family members, this was difficult to watch and though they spoke to the beach goers and advised them that taking live shells is not permitted nor is sitting and walking in protected areas, they were essentially told that it was none of their business.

But it was their business. They, I, we, when we are on Sanibel Island all must act as stewards of the land. They, I, we must be aware that this little barrier island is a safe haven for many species of wild life and that the rules are put into place to protect the ecology of the Island and to assure that the non human residents there in have a safe harbor.

I have never, in all the years of writing this blog, asked for any and all readers to pass on a post, but I do so now.

Please know the laws of Sanibel before you visit, and please make sure that everyone in your party knows and understands why they must be observed.

Thanks for reading this through....

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