The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island, Fla., re-opened on 1 February 2023 to visitors for a unique limited-time experience of shells, natural history, and perspectives of the recent events of Hurricane Ian.
While the storm caused significant damage to the Museum and reconstruction lies ahead, the facility has been cleaned and several exhibit areas are intact and available for guests to enjoy.
“Although a re-opening of the full museum and aquarium experience is further in the future, we are glad to be able to open now to the public for a period of time,” said Sam Ankerson, National Shell Museum executive director. “We hope residents, people working through their own hurricane recovery, and visitors to the island will enjoy the Museum as a respite and resource.”
On view and available at the Museum:
- The Great Hall of Shells, featuring over 30 exhibits of shells, their ecosystems, natural history, and cultural significance.
- A new temporary exhibition, In the Wake of the Flood: Community Photographs of Hurricane Ian and Its Aftermath.
- A guided “Shell and Tell” experience, whereby collection experts share and explain shell species from around the world.
- A selection of gift items for sale from the Museum Store and the opportunity to purchase Supporting Memberships. All proceeds are in support of recovery and rebuilding efforts.
The Museum will remain open with this limited-time experience until reconstruction work begins later this spring.
Photo Credit: © Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
Edited by Sarah Gilsoul, a writer and communications program assistant at AZA.
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