A Sanibel Sea School program participant examines a live horse conch. 

A Sanibel Sea School program participant examines a live horse conch. 

In January 2017, Sanibel Sea School will introduce a new program designed to help area resorts offer outstanding marine-based educational opportunities to their guests. The 501c3 nonprofit’s marine educators will provide the unique ocean outings they are known for at remote locations throughout Sanibel, Captiva, and Fort Myers Beach on a regular schedule, and will work closely with resort management to develop offerings that are right for each location’s clientele. 

“Many people visit this region because they want to experience and learn about our nature,” said Dr. Bruce Neill, Executive Director of Sanibel Sea School, “but it can be challenging for hotels to employ a quality team of teachers to meet this demand. Our educators are experienced, passionate, and knowledgeable, and we can provide the perfect solution to offer their visitors an outstanding ocean learning amenity.”

As part of this transition, Sanibel Sea School will close the satellite campus it has operated for six years at South Seas Island Resort. The nonprofit will continue to offer ocean learning opportunities to South Seas guests as part of their new resort program, but will no longer operate a physical campus on the property.

“Our relationship with South Seas has been very productive, and we look forward to a robust future at the resort, but as we grow, we are continuously seeking better ways to offer quality education to promote marine conservation,” said Neill. “At Sanibel Sea School, we not only evaluate return on investment, we also pay very close attention to what we call return on mission.” Sanibel Sea School has been able to help over 10,000 people more thoroughly understand and appreciate the ocean at South Seas since 2006, and Neill believes there is potential to reach even more visitors after the new resort partnership program is launched.

Sanibel Sea School will continue to operate its satellite campus at the Sundial Resort and Spa as an exclusive resort partnership featuring an on-property classroom, and will continue all of the existing programming currently offered at its flagship campus on the east end of Sanibel Island, including day programs for kids, seasonal adult programs, and summer camps.

“The business of marine conservation is a tricky one, and we must continue to adapt and evolve in order to be a viable nonprofit, capable of delivering excellent educational opportunities that promote marine stewardship and enhance the community,” said Neill. “We are driven to improve what we do, and to try to reach as many people as possible. Right now, we see this as the most promising route forward.”

Sanibel Sea School is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. To learn more, visit www.sanibelseaschool.org

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