Coastal Keepers will hold a second rendition of its annual fundraiser, The Launch, Nov. 17 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House. This very enjoyable evening will include cocktails, a sustainable and delicious dinner, live and silent auctions, a 50/50 raffle, and a few very special surprises – all in support of local conservation initiatives.

We held our inaugural event in the spring, and the funds raised have allowed us to make significant progress on a few exciting island campaigns,” said event coordinator Sam Lucas. “Going forward, we have decided to move the event to the fall, so if you missed it earlier this year, or just want to join us for a second round of fun for a good cause, this is the perfect opportunity to participate,” she added.

Coastal Keepers’ goal is to increase awareness of the impacts that humans have on beaches, water quality, and marine habitats in our region, and to help citizens become more effective stewards of the ocean. Through a series of business and community partnerships, the organization successfully encouraged Sanibel City Council members to unanimously pass an ordinance on the sale and distribution of disposable plastic straws in September. Straws are a common litter item found on our beaches that can have lasting negative impacts on our waters and wildlife.

The ongoing Bring Your Own Bag campaign is one more example of Coastal Keepers’ work to build a more environmentally friendly Sanibel. The BYOB campaign helps conserve our oceans and beaches by reducing the number of single-use plastic bags handed out in our area each year.

With help from local businesses and organizations, we distribute free reusable canvas bags at events and stores throughout the island. So far, we have distributed more than 15,000 bags,” said Lucas. The group will announce some of its additional plans for the future at the event.

Tickets to The Launch are $100 per person, including dinner and drinks. To learn more and reserve your spot, please contact Coastal Keepers at (239) 472-8585 or visit www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launch.

Coastal Keepers, formerly the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of START, creates and implements local conservation initiatives that promote and improve the future of marine resources, and our coastal heritage. Visit www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org.