Ian’s Impact on Estero Bay

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida in September 2022, causing widespread damage and devastation. One area particularly affected was Estero Island, a seven-mile stretch of land on the Gulf Coast. The island is bordered by San Carlos Island to the north and Big Carlos Pass to the south, and encompasses Estero Bay, a national estuary that covers about 15 square miles.

The devastation to Estero Bay and Fort Myers Beach was significant. The storm surge, high winds, and heavy rainfall resulted in flooding, erosion of beaches and dunes, damage to buildings and infrastructure, and loss of habitat for wildlife. However, recovery efforts are now underway to restore these areas.

Access to clean water is critical to the health of our community, the environment, and the local economy. Clean water provides our drinking supply, supports a wide range of plants and wildlife, and is integral to the region’s tourism industry. The ongoing restoration efforts will be extensive and costly. The Fort Myers Beach Water Foundation is dedicated to preserving and protecting our precious water resources that support diverse wildlife habitats and provide recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.