Hurricane IAN Aftermath: First Reports from Sanibel Island and Florida

01 Oct, 2022

TOP: Sanibel Island’s historic lighthouse, before Hurricane Ian. BOTTOM: Scoured by one of the worst storms in American historic, the lighthouse point has lost its historic buildings, located just a long stroll down the beach from CORAL’s sometime Sanibel field offices.

September 30, 2022

To all in the extended CORAL family who are asking and wondering: We are safe and our sometime field offices on Sanibel Island are still standing in the wake of Hurricane Ian. However, just a stone’s throw away, the historic buildings at the landmark Sanibel lighthouse are gone, virtually without a trace. TOP: Before… and BOTTOM: After.

We are working on a Florida report for next week, as we fear that many aquaculture facilities, fish farms, and marine biology centers in Florida have sustained damage.

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum appears to have been hard hit on Sanibel, as well as marine conservation and biology research facilities on Tarpon Bay. Sanibel is a world-renowned mecca for shell collectors, as well as the sprawling Ding-Darling National Wildlife Refuge, and marine biology research station on Tarpon Bay. Located on a subtropical barrier island in SW Florida, Sanibel has peserved roughly half of the island nature preserves, including the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States.

If you have first-hand reports from affected aquatics people and places in Florida, please post a note on here.

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Reef To Rainforest

Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC is the publisher of award-winning magazines and books in the fields of aquarium keeping, aquatics, and marine science. It is the English-language publisher of CORAL Magazine and is based in Shelburne, Vermont, USA.


  1. Avatar photo
    October 01, 2022

    Thanks to everyone for your concern. We are safe, high and dry in Vermont. Sanibel headquarters is still standing but was reportedly hit by a storm surge of 12-18 feet. No doubt saved by all the mangroves. Sanibel Island itself is uninhabitable at this writing—no power, no potable water, no sewage. The one lifeline between the island and the mainland is washed out and will take many months to repair. We are still waiting to hear how other people and places fared in this monstrous storm.

  2. Avatar photo
    October 03, 2022

    Message from Martin Moe:

    In my 70 years of living in and near Florida, Ian provided the most harrowing hurricane experience ever! We were in the north section of the eye wall so instead of having a quiet time when the eye passes, we had 150 mph winds for hours instead. There were three-foot waves in the canal when the wind shifted north and came straight down the canal.

    We were fortunate, the metal roof stood up to the winds with no damage, and the lock at the entrance to Charlotte Harbor kept out the surge so the water did not overflow the canals in the South Gulf Cove development. No flooding, just a lot of rain. We don’t have electricity, just a wee flow of water, and no internet or phone, so we are visiting our son in Deland, northeast Florida, until the power is restored.

    Hopefully by the end of the week. All my banana trees were torn up, though if the stalks were not pulled out of the ground, just broken, and have not yet produced bananas, they will continue to grow and finally produce fruit. And of course, new stalks will come up from the base. So all in all, we survived and are in good shape. Even the pool cage almost survived, one screen door was broken and one of the large screen panels was blown out. Considering all the damage in southwest Florida, it may be months before we can get that repaired. But I have nothing to complain about and a lot to be thankful for.

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