Shell, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
oil on board, 5"x7"
Marco Island has one of the best shelling beaches in the nation. You can walk along our beautiful beach any low tide and find something special to pick up and bring home. If you are fortunate enough to have a boat or a friend with a boat, there are a number of deserted island--approximately 10,000 of them available for you to explore.
A number of these little islands have a nice sandy beach for you to walk as you look for shells, but some of them have mangrove plants right down to the waterline. The mangrove fringes are critical for protecting the land masses by mitigating the force of hurricanes and storms.
Because most mangroves grow in tidal areas, their many roots trap detritus and debris, providing nutrients for a wide variety of organisms, so the areas around them are usually teeming with life. If you'd like to know more about mangroves and our environment, there's a good article with some photos here.
And please remember, it's illegal to take live shells. Let 'em live!