Beach Walks, Kayaks, Family Fun

    Around and About the Island

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    There’s always something hapening on and around Fort Myers Beach! From family fun activities, to fun in the sun, you can always find something to do!

    Call for Candidates

    The Qualifying Period for a total of eight seats on the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department Board (3 seats), Fort Myers Beach Library Board (3 seats) and Fort Myers Beach Mosquito Control Board (2 seats) ends at noon on Friday, June 12. All required forms and a $25 filing fee must be paid by that deadline to be on the ballot. As of June 3, with early qualifying having begun on May 25, there was no more than one candidate announced for each seat. Library Board seats 5 & 6 had no announced candidates. For information on running for a special district office, contact the Lee Elections Office at lee.vote or 239-LEE-VOTE.

    Vacation Rentals

    The state of Florida approved a second amended version of Lee County’s vacation rental rules for out-of-state reservations on June 1, 2020. bit.ly/isp324  The new rules do not permit reservations or new guests from areas identified by Governor DeSantis through Executive Orders as high-risk. Currently that includes Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York. Reservations made prior to an area being designated as high-risk can be honored. If the Governor adds high risk areas in future Executive Orders, they will be included in the Lee plan automatically. Additional information can be found at www.leegov.com/covid-19

    Phase 2 Begins

    On Wednesday, June 3, Governor Ron DeSantis announced Executive Order 20-139 and the beginning of Phase 2: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery. The order, effective Friday, June 5, applies to 64 of Florida’s 67 counties, exempting Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Entertainment businesses, such as movie theaters, concert halls, bowling alleys and arcades may open at 50% capacity. His order allows bars to open at 50% capacity and allows seating at bars in restaurants. Restaurant indoor seating remains at 50% capacity. Outdoor seating requires “appropriate social distancing.” It discourages gatherings of more than 50 people and calls for testing of all long-term care facility workers. Personal services including tattooing, body piercing, acupuncture, tanning and massage may open following Dept. of Health guidelines. The order strongly encourages those over 65 or with underlying conditions to avoid crowds and take measures to limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19. Executive Orders can be seen here: bit.ly/isp352  On Tuesday, DeSantis extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until July 1.

    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.

    Kindergarten

    It’s time to register for Kindergarten at Fort Myers Beach Elementary School! Parents or guardians are asked to scan and email the following documents to TerryAJ@leeschools.net: Original birth certificate; Current School Physical Form; Social Security Card, if available; Florida Immunization Card; Proof of Address; Proof of Custody; Parent’s Driver’s License. New Info: If you are unable to scan and email the documents, Please call the Beach School office at 239-463-6356 to schedule an appointment. The Beach School is located at 2751 Oak St., Fort Myers Beach.

    Beach Library

    The Fort Myers Beach Library is now open! Hours Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Social distancing guidelines are in effect. Masks recommended. Due dates extended; late fees waived for now. The Reading room, play room and café remain closed. Four computers will be available for public use. Curbside pickup offered. Place holds through the catalog tab at the top of the Beach Library website at fmb.lib.fl.us/ using your library card & PIN or call 239-765-8162 with the titles you want.

    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 closed, but the grounds are open to all from sunrise to sunset each day.

    Bay Oaks

    The Community Pool at Bay Oaks will remain closed through August to allow repairs to be completed. The weight and cardio rooms inside Bay Oaks Rec Center are open by reservation only for up to four people at a time starting at the top of each hour 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Reservations must be made at least 2 hours in advance by calling 239-765-4222. No walk-ins allowed. Sessions are for 45 minutes to allow sanitizing between sessions. The grounds of Bay Oaks, tennis courts and pickleball courts are open for use if social distancing guidelines are followed.

    School Parent Survey

    The Lee County School District is preparing for the 2020-2021 school year and is seeking parental and community input on ways to safely reopen. The School District is working with the Florida Department of Education and the Department of Health and do not yet know what school in the fall will look like. The District will use feedback from the survey  to develop reopening plans. The School Reintroduction Survey will take only a few minutes and is available in English, Spanish and Haitian-Creole at bit.ly/ispSchoolSurvey A link is also available at LeeSchools.net

    Dining Discount Book

    The 2020 Kiwanis Discount Dining Book from the Metro-McGregor Kiwanis Club is now available for just $28, on the FMB Chamber website or call 239-454-7500 if you’d like to pay by cash or check. The book offers BOGO (By One, Get One) dining discounts at 51 area restaurants, including 11 FMB locations. Some deals have conditions such as purchasing two beverages or a maximum price. Most are valid through Nov 15, so order yours soon. The project supports Kiwanis youth-related projects and local children in need.

    Family Fun Kayak Tour

    This fun for the whole family guided kayak tour is offered every Friday in June at 9 a.m. at the Mound House. This tour is designed for parents and their children ages 6 & up. Paddlers look for wildlife, including birds, manatees and dolphins as they paddle through the mangroves of Estero Bay. Reservations required 239-765-0865. $25 ages 13 and up; $15 ages 6-12. Weather permitting. (Members $10) Museum admission included. Maximum 8 participants so that social distancing can occur. Masks recommended while on land and during launch.

    Mangroves by Kayak Tour

    Explore the winding mangrove creeks on this guided kayak tour offered every Wednesday in June at 8:30 a.m. at the Mound House. Explore the hidden backwaters of Estero Bay as only a kayaker can. For ages 12 & up. $45 fee. (Members $15) Museum admission included. Reservations required 239-765-0865. Maximum 8 participants so that social distancing can occur. Masks recommended while on land and during launch. Weather permitting.

    Lee Clerk Office

    The downtown Fort Myers Lee County Clerk offices have resumed in-person court and official records services as of June 1. All other locations remain closed. All those entering the Court House are required to wear masks or face coverings, maintain 6-feet of distance from others and have their temperatures checked. The Clerk’s office encourages customers to continue using online services when possible. For more information visit LeeClerk.org

    Be Kind to Wildlife

    Sea Turtles and Shorebirds are nesting on Fort Myers Beach right now. Do your part by using Amber LED bulbs if you have ANY lights that can be seen from the beach. Close your drapes after dark. Move all beach items behind the vegetation line. Stay away from all posted areas. Keep pets out of the Little Estero Critical Wildlife Area entirely and on a 6’ leash elsewhere on the beach. Do not let cats roam. If you are being divebombed by a bird – you are too close to a nest. Take photos only with a zoom lens.

    Town Hall

    The Fort Myers Beach Town Hall continues no-contact operations. The Town Hall lobby and offices are closed to the public. Town operations continue via phone or email. Call 239-765-0202 Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for assistance. Anyone with an issue that must be handled in person should call ahead.