Wednesday, 16 March 2011

How Has the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Affected Popular Beach Cities?

By Becky Kelley
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been prevalent in the news all summer long. Residents might wonder how this catastrophe, also referred to as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, is affecting their favorite vacation spots. Since Sanibel Island is obviously a beach city and part wildlife refuge, this is surely one of the most important destinations in southern Florida.
What affect has the oil spill had on Sanibel? Royal Shell Vacations, which is Sanibel Island, Florida and Captiva Island's premiere vacation rental firm, recently reported that there is no oil evident anywhere near the beaches of the island. As a precaution the company announced a beach watch to assure residents and visitors that the beaches would continue to be oil free throughout the summer. In fact, the company is so dedicated to resident satisfaction that it is offering a special refund policy on its vacations if any oil does wash up onto the beaches.
Sanibel Island hotels and Island restaurants are still operating normally, as are Sanibel events in the area. What about the reports of "dark-colored clumps of algae?" This is not actually related to the oil spill. Beachgoers who have noticed these clumps are actually filamentous blue green algae broken off from submerged algal mats. The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation stated that these clumps are not related to oil spills, nor are they harmful to the environment. These algal mats are often found in marine and freshwater conditions. These mats' suggested place of origin is the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River or even beyond.
While many people are fearing the repercussions of the oil spill, residents of Sanibel and Captiva, FL should be assured that the location is currently not threatened by the actions that took place primarily west of the state. This is important to realize, as some vacationers may be canceling plans to visit this Island, when in fact the beaches are just as beautiful and safe as ever.
Sanibel Island real estate has been increasing in value ever since the 2000 year. The median price of a house in the city is now just below $900,000, a 50% increase from ten years ago. This island city is an important part of the state's economy and a popular destination for both tourists and newly relocated career professionals. The beaches and wildlife refuges put Sanibel Island on the map. For more information about the beaches of Sanibel Captiva, visit the official city website. provides information on everything dealing with Sanibel and the Captiva Islands. At you will find information on Sanibel Island real estate, Sanibel Island hotels and more.