The last pass for pickup of debris that has been pushed by property owners to the right of way on the Town’s side streets will be Tuesday, May 30.
Debris must be pushed to the curb by May 30 to be picked up through the State’s program that has been operating since Hurricane Ian. (This deadline does not include properties that are signed up through www.iandebriscleanup.com for debris removal on personal property.)
After May 30, the Town could start to enact code compliance violations for debris that remains curbside.
PLEASE NOTE: This pertains only to the Town’s side streets and Estero Boulevard north of the Matanzas Pass Bridge. Estero Boulevard from the Matanzas Pass Bridge south is the responsibility of Lee County.
Property owners are asked to please help make this process quick and efficient by:
Combining debris into one large pile rather than several small ones
Using trash cans for a small amount of debris that is allowable to be picked up with household waste
These statistics about the amount of debris that was collected on Fort Myers Beach through March of 2023 were shared at a Town Council meeting in April.
Haven't attended a Town Hall event to make your voice heard to
Lee County's Ian Recovery Task Force?
The Lee Board of County Commissioners made a unanimous decision to establish the Recovery Task Force (RTF) in response to the extensive and devastating destruction brought on by Hurricane Ian. The task force is based on FEMA's National Disaster Recovery Framework to determine the short-term and long-term needs of Lee County.
Please click here to take the anonymous, ResilientLee Survey to help determine the RTF's priorities for Lee County and its residents.
NBC Nightly News broadcast live from FMB this week
Eight months after Hurricane Ian barreled into Florida, Lester Holt spoke with survivors, including some of the community’s youngest members, to hear their experiences and how recovery is going.
Jeff Hauge is new Director of
Culture, Parks and Recreation
Jeff Hauge has been with the Town for approximately a year and was promoted to his new position after serving as Bay Oaks Recreational Campus Manager and interim director.
Hauge was promoted to interim director when the former director took a position with the Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau.
In the director position, Hauge is responsible for the Town’s 15-acre Bay Oaks Recreational Campus which includes adult, youth and teen programs, tennis and pickleball courts, a fitness center, after school and before school programs, softball and baseball fields, and a community pool. He also oversees the Mound House historic home and native plant garden that sits atop a 2,000 year old Calusa Indian Shell Mound on Estero Bay.
“Jeff has a wealth of experience and skills that will serve the Town and our residents well as we continue to navigate through recovery from Hurricane Ian,” said Town Manager Andy Hyatt. “We are fortunate that Mound House is operational with programs, kayaking, and museum tours. Bay Oaks took some hits and we are making good progress in restoring facilities and programs and will continue to with Jeff’s capable leadership.”
Prior to working at the Town, Jeff was with the Lee County Boys and Girls Club. A large part of his 22-year career has been as a director or manager overseeing different functions in Boys and Girls Clubs in Minnesota. His experience also includes overseeing community programs in a YMCA and a school district, and youth advocacy for a program for battered woman. At St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, Jeff completed coursework focused on education and recreation.
“From coaching youth while in high school to running programs with multiple facilities and programs, my career has always focused on recreation,” Hauge said. “My overall experience with the Town – prior to Ian and since – has motivated me to make a difference for Fort Myers Beach. Making sure facilities and programs are safe, fun and relevant and targeted to all ages is what will bring people back.”
The Town tested the Code Red emergency notification system on Tuesday, May 23.
Those who are signed up for this system received test messages.
PLEASE USE THE NORTH END of ESTERO ISLAND TO ACCESS
Over the next few weeks, the majority of the work on this project will take place in the areas from Margaritaville to Mango Street and mid island to Flamingo Street. Beach accesses in these areas might be inaccessible due to the construction.
Construction will also be taking place in areas around some of the beach accesses that are currently inaccessible due to the placement of large amounts of sand to be leveled. Most of the inaccessible locations are toward the south end of Estero Island.
While this work is occurring, the public is encouraged to use the beach accesses on the north end of Estero Island where construction is not occurring. These are Waistina Way, Times Square, Crescent Beach Park, Lynn Hall Park.
Here are some other important reminders about the beach:
It’s sea turtle nesting season until October 31. Outdoor lights on properties need to be long wavelength, downward directed, and shielded. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has guidance about wildlife-friendly lights.
Contractors are reminded to turn off their property’s interior lights at night.
It’s also shorebird nesting season and dog owners are reminded to keep their pets on leashes and out of the critical wildlife area on the south end of the Island.
It’s time now to remind all property owners about the lighting that is required to help protect turtles and hatchlings during nesting season. Conventional lighting scares females from nesting and disorients hatchlings away from the Gulf, leading to exhaustion, dehydration, and death from falling into storm drains, passing cars, and predators.
Long wavelength amber bulbs in downward directed fixtures that shield the bulb from the beach are encouraged everywhere on the island, not just beachfront, because so many structures and vegetation that previously shielded light from the beach are gone due to Hurricane Ian. Besides lighting, it is also just as important to draw curtains closed at night.
When it comes to windows and glass slider doors, the Town adopted new rules in 2022 for Sea Turtle Conservation. Windows and doors/sliders are required to have a light transmittance of 45% or less AND have a window cover installed. Read the Sea Turtle Conservation Ordinance.
Need professional help with bulbs and fixtures? The Sea Turtle Conservancy recommends Frontier Lighting and Synergy Lighting. Long wavelength amber bulbs can also be found online. Search for “sea turtle amber LED” and the bulb type that you need. It’s important to verify that the spectrum specifications of the bulb indicate 560 nm or greater.
One of the cheapest FWC certified wildlife lighting options that staff have found online is the FEIT A19 Red Bulb that screws into classic Edison fixtures. Please note, filter wraps, gels, and colored party bulbs are not compliant because sea turtles are sensitive to their light.
The Town will monitor lights on the beach during season. Efforts will focus on educating property owners on solutions. Property owners are encouraged to walk on the beach to see if their property’s lighting is visible from the beach and install wildlife friendly lighting. The Town’s Environmental Projects Manager Chadd Chustz is available for questions and light inspections. Contact him by email at email@example.com.
Explore the winding mangrove creeks and hidden backwaters of the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve with Mound House. This unique tour offers a rare opportunity to experience the abundant life within an estuary.
Mound House kayak tours are conducted in accordance with Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism guidelines.
All paddling and safety equipment provided. Ages 12 and up. Weather permitting. COST: $50 per person (MH Members $20) Museum admission included. Maximum of 12 paddlers per tour. Shoes required.
WHAT: Join 20+ organizations as we close out Mental Health Awareness Month celebrating the resiliency of SWFL!
Mental Health Resources
Speakers & Hurricane Ian survivor stories
Free Mental Health Screenings
On-site Resources & Referrals
As well as: "Coffee with a Clinician" Get to know SWFL's Private Practice Clinicians.
Building resiliency after the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian includes boosting our self-care strategies and mental health supports. Join us at the Diamondhead Beach Resort to meet and greet SWFL’s most influential mental health organizations and practitioners. Enjoy a morning of therapeutic activities such as art, yoga, pet and equine therapy to illuminate the many pathways of building a more resilient you.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 10a - 12p
WHERE: DiamondHead Beach Resort – Fort Myers Beach, 2000 Estero Blvd; Fort Myers Beach
In collaboration with The Lee County Sheriff Community Outreach Centers, The DiamondHead Beach Resort Fort Myers Beach, United Way 211 and many leading mental health providers across SWFL, we look forward to hosting the first “Resiliency Round Up” in SWFL, an event focused on bridging the gap with various SWFL Mental Health Agencies and those impacted by Hurricane Ian. This will be an interactive opportunity for attendees to gain tools to foster resiliency and practice self-care as well as improve access to mental health services in Southwest Florida.
Park Royal Hospital provides life-changing care to adults who need help coping with life’s challenges. Park Royal offers a continuum of care including detox, inpatient, and outpatient programs. Our holistic inpatient services focus on each person’s emotional, physical and medical needs. Inpatient treatment involves multi-disciplinary teams, including psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, primary care physicians and a 24-hour nursing staff. Our goal is to help a patient return to a full and productive life – as well as return home – as soon as possible. Our admissions department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and accept most insurance, including Medicare and the managed plans of Medicaid. Any concerned people, including family members, friends and companions, as well as medical healthcare professionals can make referrals.
Visit MOUND HOUSE
Grounds are open Monday through Saturday from 7:30am to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 7:30am to 3 p.m.
Museum and Museum Store are open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Pickleball courts at Bay Oaks will be unavailable over the next few months as the gym and grounds are under reconstruction due to damage caused by Hurricane Ian.
Keep up on the schedule of Town Council and advisory committee meetings
All meetings are now at DiamondHead Resort 2000 Estero Boulevard
Live and recorded meetings can also be viewed on the Town of Fort Myers Beach YouTube channel.
Thursday, May 25 / 3 p.m. - Cultural and Environmental Learning Center Advisory Board (CELCAB) Meeting- at Mound House, 451 Connecticut Street
Monday, June 5 / 9 a.m. - Town Council
*Meetings are subject to change. Please refer to the agendas posted on the Town's website.
Town Hall is open for walk-in service from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are strongly encouraged to minimize wait times. Call 239-765-0202 to schedule an appointment with the appropriate department.
Status of bids and proposals
The Town has partnered with DemandStar which is open and accessible to all businesses and gives instant access to RFPs, RFQs, and ITBs