Sanibel's Shell Museum to Re-open with New Name

One of the best ways to decide if you want to relocate to a new place is to learn as much about it as you can. I like to include blog posts on local information to help potential Sanibel homebuyers get to know the culture and atmosphere of the island. If you are making a move to Sanibel I am happy to help you learn more about settling in on the island.

Sanibel's Shell Museum to Re-open with New nameOne of the biggest things Sanibel Island is known for is its amazing beaches and those beaches are famous partly for their sandy seashell-filled shores. Some refer to Sanibel Island as the shelling capital of the world. Finding seashells on Sanibel is so popular that there are several clubs and festivals centered on it. One of the most iconic activities on Sanibel Island is visiting the Shell Museum. So if you want to get to know the island it is good to know about Sanibel's shell museum.

Sanibel Shell Museum Opening with a New Name

The museum has been closed for some time since the hurricane swept through the island. The museum will open early next year in 2024 and the building will have a new sign and logo that sports its new name. Instead of the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum, the new name will now be the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum and Aquarium. It is a small shift but the re-opening seemed like a good time to redesign the space and highlight the aquarium portion of the museum.

The aquarium exhibits were added to the shell museum in 2020. In addition to the new name and a new logo which means a brand new sign that will greet visitors out front, there will be newly redesigned permanent exhibits. Some of these new exhibits will include the living gallery of aquariums and marine life and shell exhibits in the Great Hall of Shells.

A little more information on the museum

The museum officially opened on Sanibel Island in 1995 but has been in the works since 1984. The idea to start the museum came from a local shell collector Charlene McMurphy. She invested $10,000 to start the project and with the help of many other shell enthusiasts began the dedicated journey of making the museum a reality. The museum became the only accredited museum in the country devoted solely to shells and mollusks. The museum has a mission of using exceptional collections, programs, aquariums, experiences, and science to strive to be the leading museum in the country communicating everything there is to know about mollusks and shells and the ecosystems in which they live.

Plans for reopening

The museum will open in the early part of 2024. In this first opening, the ground floor will be available to the public. There will be a second phase of opening later in the year. The first phase will include the aquariums, welcome lobby, and museum store. The second floor coming later will include the great hall of shells, special exhibition galleries, auditorium, and classrooms. The museum has been making great progress the tanks were refilled in the summer of 2023 as well as generating salt water on their own for aquarium exhibits. The building was repaired in the winter and spring and in just a few months the museum will open the first portion.

If you would like to learn more about this iconic institution on Sanibel Island you can browse through their website. And come out and visit the museum as it opens in the next few months.

For more information on living on Sanibel Island including finding available Sanibel Island real estate please contact me. I am here to help you transition to Sanibel Island with as little stress as possible and to find a home that meets all your search criteria in your ideal Sanibel location.

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