If you’re looking for a small but vibrant community that lives in harmony with the environment, that’s us. Sanibel incorporated in 1974 so we could control the rapid growth that had sprouted in Southwest Florida. We established a land use plan that aims for less than 9,000 dwelling units. Currently we are nearing build-out with just over 8,200 existing units. We set building guidelines that gave neighbors and nature room to co-exist comfortably. More than half of our islands is preserved land, either owned by local conservation interests or designated as federal wildlife parklands.
Everyone knows the beauty of our beaches, but it is our beautiful mangrove forests that keep our islands stable and our wildlife and sea life thriving. We learned long ago that protecting our natural surroundings was the key to preserving our paradise.
The population that lives here embraces that ideal. We are professionals, working families and retirees, and many believe in helping their community through volunteering at our wildlife centers, historical village and museum, shell museum, recreation center, fine arts groups and service organizations.
Life is never boring here with a number of unique island shops, library, movie theater, performing arts theater, museums, nature centers, and a thriving arts center. Of course there are always other groups to join whether it be the Audubon Society, the Shell Club, the Senior Center, or dozens of others. That’s when you’re not shelling, fishing, boating, birding, biking, hiking and swimming.