Sanibel Sea School Blog

Campus Restoration Update

February 15, 2024

Looking Back

On Sept. 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian struck Southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm, causing catastrophic damage to Sanibel Island. While both the Kennedy Building and the front building were left standing, they experienced extensive damage. Since then, our team has worked tirelessly to bring back our flagship campus.


While our flagship campus was undergoing post-hurricane renovations, we had to adapt to continue to bring ocean love to our students. So we held camp and programs at the Bailey Homestead and on the beach! 

Our deep connection to the ocean is the basis (or figurative foundation) of Sanibel Sea School, but we are still working on bringing back the physical foundation that our many students call a home away from home.

“In the meantime, we invite you to join us in embracing the wonders of nature, cherishing moments with loved ones, and exploring the beauty of our blue planet. Thank you for your friendship, your support, and your engagement. Together, we are creating a brighter future for the next generation of ocean stewards.”  

– Shannon Rivard, Youth Education Director


We are excited to announce that our Kennedy Building is officially open! We will operate out of Kennedy until our other building is complete. It feels like a full-circle moment, reminiscent of our early days, operating exclusively out of this space. While we eagerly await the completion of the front building, we’re thrilled to offer small-group sessions like daily courses, after-school programs, and private family sessions, all in the spirit of hands-on and feet-wet learning.

As for the front building, the interior has been completely demolished, cleaned, and the framing is in. The foundation for plumbing is set, and ethernet cables have been hung. Up next — new floors, drywall, electric, tiling, and more! 

What’s Next 

Our vision for Sanibel Sea School is bigger and brighter than ever! On March 2, we’re hosting our signature event, Cause for the Campus

The funds raised at this event will be allocated towards several crucial initiatives, including the installation of a new roof for the front building and wraparound decking on the Kennedy Building to provide ample outdoor teaching space. We also have plans to develop an outdoor learning amphitheater. We’ll create an upgraded play yard area equipped with natural play structures and build a vastly improved storage facility and under-deck storage. Lastly, scholarship funding will continue to be prioritized, ensuring that all individuals have the opportunity to benefit from the transformative programs offered by Sanibel Sea School, regardless of their ability to pay.

Currently, only sponsorship packages are on sale for Cause on the Campus. Limited non-sponsor tickets will be announced at a later date.

We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future of Sanibel Sea School! See you soon! 

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