The Cause

OCEAN LOVE…

Those who know Sanibel Sea School know that we’re all about love for the ocean. Throughout the year, our students explore the beaches, shorelines, gulf waters and estuaries of Southwest Florida to learn how we’re all connected on our ocean planet. Whether they’re summer campers, day class students, home-schoolers or special groups that visit us regularly, these students have become a part of our Ocean Tribe, joining those of us who fervently value, understand and care for the ocean.

We will be holding our annual fundraiser, Octifest, on Saturday, April 13th, 2019 once again in a big-top tent on the Sanibel Causeway, always the perfect backdrop for our yearly ocean celebration. Octifest provides the single largest influx of funds each year to our little sandy bucket nonprofit.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR KIDS IN NEED…

The donations we receive at Octifest ensure that our many different scholarship programs endure. It is our goal to continue to host at-risk youth from the Pine Manor Improvement Association, Gladiolus Learning and Development Center, and Heights Foundation in Fort Myers, and to continue to host children with acute physical challenges and learning disabilities. Sanibel Sea School has never turned away a child due to financial constraints; scholarship funds also go toward supporting the many local families and members of our community who cannot afford to attend Sanibel Sea School otherwise.

New ocean experiences...

The funds raised through Octifest will also help us to expand and subsidize our educational offerings. We recently hosted a free Hurricane Camp for families affected by Hurricane Irma, and will begin to offer free Community Camp Days on select school holidays to better support working parents throughout the year. We will also add a few new camps this summer to help participants develop exciting new levels of waterman, research and learning skills. 

...and plenty of nets and buckets!

Lastly, Octifest will help us to purchase the many buckets, nets, masks, snorkels and surfboards that define the Sanibel Sea School experience for so many of our kids. Our programs come to life through the kindhearted gifts of our supporters. Participants truly make a difference and touch the lives of hundreds of young ocean lovers.

On behalf of the Ocean Tribe, we look forward to seeing you at Octifest on Saturday, April 13th under the stars! Click here to purchase tickets.


A few of my students had been on the water before we visited Sanibel Sea School, but what this organization has provided for myself and my students is a way to really see the sea. I feel like before our trips, our vision was blurry, but now we all see more clearly and we are focused on just how amazing our coastal communities are. My students notice more, experience more, and feel more. The impact of Sanibel Sea School gives our lessons depth. This is learning with purpose that my students can see, touch, smell, and feel.
— Nanlyn Akin, Teacher, Hendry County Schools

About Sanibel Sea School

Our mission is to improve the ocean's future, one person at a time. 

We look to a world where all people value, understand and care for the ocean.

Sanibel Sea School is dedicated to vibrantly teaching children and adults about marine ecosystems. We use the barrier island habitats of Sanibel and Captiva to give our students an opportunity to touch, feel, and understand their natural surroundings in a field setting.

Through their experiences, students develop an intimate bond with the ocean and its inhabitants, and gain an enhanced awareness of the tightly woven fabric of our global environment. Sanibel Sea School’s programs foster a sense of wonder in regards to the marine world, leaving participants eager to learn more and enthusiastic about practicing good ocean stewardship.

Our programs cover all that encompasses marine ecosystems – animals, people, plants, land, ocean and weather.

Thanks to the nature of field education, Sanibel Sea School provides a rich ocean experience that will invigorate students for a lifetime of appreciation and responsibility.

We offer transformative education – it’s more than an experience – It changes the way we live.

We invite you to learn more at sanibelseaschool.org.


Support the Cause

Can’t make it to the event, but still want to support the cause? Please click the button below to make a general donation.