Around and About the Island

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    There’s always something happening on and around Fort Myers Beach! From family fun, to news and currents events, the Island Sand Paper has covered it all over the past ten years. We hope that you will continue to enjoy our Island, finding all that it has to offer, even in these uncertain times.

    Bay Oaks Meeting

    On Monday, July 13 at 2pm at Town Hall, the Bay Oaks Recreational Campus Advisory Board will host a public meeting to discuss plans for the six-acre campus. Plans are in the early stages and the board is working with an architect on the design. This is an opportunity to provide input on the plan, Bay Oaks programs and amenities. Email comments to bayoaks@fmbgov.com. While Town Hall remains closed to the public, it will be open for the meeting.

    Town Meeting Notice

    Council and advisory board meetings can be found on the Town Hall website at fmbgov.com. To sign up to receive notification of meetings, go to tinyurl.com/ybro5zya

    Census

    Have you completed your census yet? Only 26% of Fort Myers Beach residents have done so and that will mean the loss of millions of dollars over the next ten years for our community. It’s easier than ever this year. You can complete the form online, over the phone or by mail. If you fail to do any of those, the census will send someone to your door. The census is a legally mandated count of all residents in the country. Wouldn’t it be easier to just do it yourself? Go to 2020census.gov/ and start. Help our town, county and state be counted so we get our share of federal benefits and representation.

    Vote!

    The Primary Election will be held Tuesday, August 18, 2020. Florida is a closed primary election state. If you want to vote in a partisan primary, you must be a member of the political party holding the primary. However, there will be races for non-partisan offices on the August 18 ballot and ALL VOTERS, including those without any party affiliation, vote in those races. The deadline to change your party affiliation or register to vote in the primary election is July 20, 2020.

    The General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The deadline to register, if you are not already registered, is October 5, 2020.

    The Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Tommy Doyle, is encouraging all voters to sign up for a Vote-by-Mail ballot, for both upcoming elections. To do so, just call the Lee Elections office at 239-533-8683, visit lee.vote or email votebymail@lee.vote.

    The League of Women Voters of Lee County has published an online voter guide at www.VOTE411.ORG Included are ballot information and responses from Lee County candidates for County Commission, Property Appraiser, School Board and Sheriff. Soon the guide will include information on Florida House and Senate seat candidates and the U.S. House Seat 19.

    Hurricane Prep

    Lee County has prepared a series of short, instructional Hurricane Prep videos on several subjects related to hurricane prep are available at leegov.com/hurricane. Hard copies of the All Hazards Guide are available at Lee County libraries.

    Get your tech ready for a storm! Download the LeePrepares app that provides real time info from the Lee County Emergency Operations Center, supply lists, current weather, evacuation info and more. Download the AlertLee app at AlertLee.com – an emergency notification system that allows registered users to receive phone, text and/or email alerts in an emergency. In Fort Myers Beach, go to fmbgov.com and select Emergency/Hurricane Preparedness from the left menu to be taken to the Town’s emergency page with information on how to sign up for CodeRed, Hurricane Re-entry passes and an electronic copy of the All Hazards Guide.

    FMB Mask Mandate

    Fort Myers Beach now has a mask mandate in place. If you are not at home or in your accommodations, you must have a mask with you and wear it if you are in a situation where you cannot stay six feet away from others. Applies inside or outside. Employees and customers of all businesses must wear a mask unless able to engage in social distancing. Those dining in restaurants or eating can remove their masks while drinking and eating and those receiving services in beauty salons and barbershops, those in church or those with underlying medical conditions prohibiting the use of masks are exempt.  For additional details, see fmbgov.com.

    Beach Walks

    Free guided Beach Walks at Newton Park are offered every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 9am. Discover what the tides bring to the shore with a naturalist guide. Meet under the thatched hut at 4650 Estero Blvd, FMB. Only 8 participants allowed so that social distancing can occur. Masks recommended. Weather permitting.

    Turtle Nesting Season

    The sea turtles are back! They are breeding in offshore waters and nesting on our beaches. Please help by keeping boat speeds to idle within a half mile of the shoreline. Nests are now hatching! Hatchlings claw their way out of the sand in the dark and then head for the nearest light, which should be the Gulf. Make sure you have no lights that shine on the beach from your property or from inside your home. Draw the drapes or blinds to shield inside lights after dark. Use only Amber LED bulbs in outdoor fixtures that can be seen from the beach. Pull beach furniture, boats and toys back behind the vegetation line so turtles do not get tangled up in them. Fill in any holes you dig on the beach. Turtle friendly light fixtures and bulbs can be found at bit.ly/lites4turtles  If you accidentally hook a turtle or find one in distress contact the FWC hotline at 888-404-3922, *FWC, #FWC or text Tip@MyFWC.com

    Shorebird Nesting

    It’s shorebird nesting season! The Little Estero Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) and Carlos Point/Castle Beach temporary refuge has been posted for active nests. The Little Estero Island Critical Wildlife Area is closed to people from April 1 – August 31 to allow the shorebirds to court, nest and fledge. An FWC biologist monitors the CWA and Carlos Point areas each day through the end of August.

    Mound House

    The Mound House is now open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. for self-guided tours. The Museum Store is open museum hours and the grounds are open to all from sunrise to sunset each day. Looking for something to do with the kids? Print out the Mound House scavenger hunt from moundhouse.org under “Fun Activities” and head to the big tree in front of the Mound House to start.

    Mound House Gardens

    Enjoy a beautiful walk among the gardens of the Mound House with a “Gardens of the Mound House Tour” now offered three times a week. See what is in bloom and growing and learn the latest information on how they make the gardens a great place for local wildlife! Great tour for families and adults. Offered every Tuesday in July at 11am and every Thursday & Saturday (except 7/30) at 1pm. Cost $5 (MH members free) Museum admission is not included.

     Shell Mound Tour

    Have you ever seen the inside of a Calusa Indian shell mound? Are you interested in archeology? This tour is for you!  Take an informative tour with Mound House interpretive staff and immerse yourself inside a 2,000 year-old Calusa shell mound. Explore the archaeology of the site and what clues archeologists uncovered about the ancient Calusa society. Offered every Tuesday in July at 1pm and every Thursday & Saturday at 11am. Cost $15 adults; $10 ages 6-12;includes museum admission (MH members free).