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September 30, 2022

Hurricane Recovery Advisement & Updated City Contact Information

As images and news reports regarding the condition of our barrier islands and the entire state of Florida emerge, we are all in shock. This will be the last update for a while and we encourage you to access the City of Sanibel website for updates.  

If you are aware of an individual(s) who remained on island during Hurricane Ian, you can report a well-being check by calling 239-603-7261 or sending an email to Provide your name and number as well as the following information:  Name(s) of individual(s) missing; Address; Phone number

You can also request a well-being check through Lee County Sherriff's non-emergency number at 239.477.1000.  

Rescue operations have begun and people are being found and taken off island. it is our hope everyone will be accounted for and found safe.  

BELOW: New NOAA Aerial footage of damage; housing needed for displaced staff; refuge update; support opportunities; volunteer opportunities.  

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."Bob Marley

These will be very trying and emotional times for everyone affected by this storm. The Sanibel, Captiva, Lee County and "Ding" Darling communities are special and unique and the residents have the strength and determination to get through this.  

Photo by Al Hoffacker

Aerial imagery Available

As we all wait for the island to be deemed safe and accessible, we can now view the status of Sanibel, Captiva, and part of Fort Myers through aerial imagery from NOAA.

Aerial Imagery is now available for Sanibel, Captiva, and part of Fort Myers here.

Wiring Instructions for FISH

Credit card gifts can be made directly on the website of FISH, but if you would like to wire a gift directly to their bank:


(Sanibel Captiva Community Bank) 

ABA: 067015287 

For Credit to: F.I.S.H. of Sanibel Captiva Inc.

Account #: 19022946

Note: Sanibel Captiva Community Bank does not have a SWIFT or BIC code. International Wire Transfers need to be sent to a U.S. Correspondent for further credit to 067015287

Your generous support will go directly to benefit island residents and employees impacted by hurricane Ian.  

Links to Help the Residents & Businesses on the Islands

The following is are links to organizations that will help people and businesses living and working on the islands.  Please Make gifts online. DO NOT send mail to FISH of Sanibel Captiva as any mail service is not working In addition, FISH has given us wiring instructions, which are below. Please DO NOT send items as they are not equipped at this point to accept. Monetary donations to a viable organization such as FISH, is the most effective. Thank you! 

Status of J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

If you missed the first update, all refuge staff and interns are safe and unharmed.  Damage assessments are currently in process. Refuge Project Leader Kevin Godsea continues to be in direct communication with the City, state and Lee County.  An Incident Command Post has been set up on the island and he is working with the FWS, FWC and other institutions to bring on necessary equipment, such as gasoline, jeeps, tools etc. Special thanks to SCCF who has allowed use of their boat to help in the transport of this equipment. Search and rescue is priority #1 and continues. Many people remain unaccounted for.  

The refuge has sustained considerable damage, but nothing that can't be repaired. 

The recovery and restoration of the Refuge, Sanibel, Captiva, and all of Lee County is significant and will take time. The causeway alone will be a massive project. As we have stated before, this will be a long and arduous process for everyone. 


Wildlife status: 

Refuge manager Kevin Godsea has seen a number of wildlife species, tracks and scat on the island. The rookeries near Tarpon Bay are filled with roosting pelicans as well. He is currently focused solely on helping with search and rescue and getting needed materials onto the island.

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City of Sanibel Looking for Volunteers


The City of Sanibel is looking for volunteers with a variety of skills and resources.

If you have resources such as boats, equipment, services, skills, etc., and would like to volunteer, please send an email to or call (239) 603-7261and provide the following information:  


  • Name
  • Resource available
  • Phone number
  • Email address

The Refuge will need volunteers in the future, but until we know more, please contact the city who can use people now. Thank you. 

The city also has several updates you can click to read more, such as prohibiting access to the public boat ramp and a taping of the city manager's press conference earlier today. 

Emergency Housing Needed

Do you have a second home, condo or apartment in Lee County that survived the storm and be willing to stay north to allow a few of our professional staff to rent while the recovery takes place? 

We have staff who have lost their island homes to the hurricane and have no place to live. As one can imagine, there are no available hotels or rentals (this was the case even before the hurricane).

Please CALL Executive Director, Birgie Miller at 239.292.0566 or via EMAIL

Thank you for your consideration of help.  

The "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society is the non-profit friends group supporting the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge Complex.


Birgit Miller, Executive Director

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