To the editor,
In 1980, I made my first trip to South Seas Plantation on Captiva Island aboard Strider, my family’s 34’ Snowgoose Cat, along with my cousins and their children. It was a pivotal moment in my life, as it inspired my decision to relocate from my hometown in Texas to Southwest Florida. In January 1981, I arrived in Fort Myers in my yellow Mustang packed with shorts, t-shirts, my favorite bathing suits and flip flops. I was ready for the beach (who knew it occasionally gets cold in January in Southwest Florida? My mom had to ship me a few "winter "clothes).
For me, it’s all about the beach — my professional and personal life revolves around the beach. In 1986, I went to work at the Sundial , which was owned and operated by the Mariner Group I was transferred to South Seas in 1990 as a property manager for condominiums and later moved into real estate at South Seas in 1998. I have over time met people from all around the world with diverse backgrounds, but the one thing everyone has in common is they love the white sands of Captiva.
Many of you probably don’t remember when the storm washed away part of Captiva Road in front of Tween Waters or the very narrow strip of beach in front of South Seas before the first nourishment project in 1988. I even remember the mid-90’s when the beach narrowed again in front of South Seas before the nourishment project of 1996 saved us.
Things have changed throughout the years, but thanks to the Captiva Erosion Prevention District (CEPD), the beaches have changed for the better. But, one thing that hasn’t changed is my love for the beach. Captiva beaches are much wider and more beautiful that when I first fell in love back in 1980, but I can see where they are narrowing again. I have learned to listen to the CEPD when they start planning a project. Our homes, our livelihoods, our little pieces of paradise depend upon that next nourishment project; we had all better listen.
Captiva Island voters will be asked to support the next beach nourishment project though a bond referendum on the November 2 general election ballot. I ask all to vote yes, because it really is all about the beach.
Mary Ann Cowart