Tag Archives: Captiva Island


The Rising Waters Confab Report / Visual Book is complete.  Click here for the document.


Rising Waters Confab Report

2 Participants
3 Introducing the Rising Waters Confab | Buster Simpson
4 Captiva’s Outlook | Leonard Berry
5 In the Dry Morning | Gretel Ehrlich
8 How the Arctic Drives the Climate of the Temperate World | Gretel Ehrlich
11 What Happened 120,000 Years Ago Could Repeat | John Englander
12 Surging Seas | Climate Central
14 We Have Time to Adapt, but No Time to Waste | John Englander
16 Digging for Water | Glenn Weiss
18 Is it Fair? | Thomas Ruppert
19 How to Talk About the Climate | Florida Sea Grant College Program
21 Week Two | Jeremy Pickard
22 Climate Change Is Gradual | June Wilson
24 Commons at Ground Level | Anne Focke
27 Commons Reader | Anne Focke
28 Rising Waters Blog | Anne Focke
30 Who Should be Our Allies? | Orion Cruz
32 Agitprop at Rally | Buster Simpson and Edward Morris
33 Statues of Brave Heroes of Climate Change Skepticism | Lewis Hyde
34 Drowning Man Festival | Lewis Hyde with Others
36 5 Actions to Stop Rising Seas | Xavier Cortada
38 Captiva Island H.V.A.C. Wedge | Buster Simpson
39 Making Ice Bags to Refreeze the Glaciers | Xavier Cortada
40 Glenn Weiss, Jungle Seeds
41 Week Two | Jeremy Pickard
42 L’Arctique est Paris | All Confab Collaboration, Lead Authors Mel Chin and Gretel Ehrlich
49 Mangroves | Xavier Cortada, Walter Hood, and Buster Simpson
51 Removing Exotics | Xavier Cortada
Raked Free Zone | Buster Simpson
52 Pine Island Sound Expedition
54 Underwater Affair and Palm Column | Walter Hood
56 Hurricane Remodel…Hire an Artist | Lewis Hyde
57 The Graceful Retreat | Buster Simpson
58 National Midden Mound-ument Preserves | Buster Simpson and Andrea Polli
60 Rising Gas | Andrea Polli
62 Islands and Global Forces – Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary | Andrea Polli and Buster Simpson
64 Voxel Frog // Mangrove | Buster Simpson
66 Limestone | David Buckland
68 Charcoal Sketch 2 for Neptune (A Play About Water) | Jeremy Pickard
72 SOS Life Float & Reliquary | Buster Simpson
74 Suggesting Palm Readings | Laura Sindell
76 Charley and Bob | Andrea Polli
78 Luxury Island and American River Archive | Edward Morris and Susannah Sayler
80 The Water Table | Jeremy Pickard
82 Pinhole Cameras | Laura Sindell
84 More Sugar, Dear? | Laura Sindell
86 Grounding Line – I’ve Seen the Water on the Wall | Lewis Hyde
87 The Manatees at Blue Springs | Lewis Hyde
88 Becoming Water | Gretel Ehrlich
89 Death and Poetry | Gretel Ehrlich
90 Fathom’s Portal | Buster Simpson
91 Stacked Chairs | June Wilson
92 Table to Deploy // The Arctic is Captiva | Buster Simpson

Interactive Map for Submerged USA at 12 feet and 25 feet rise

See Captiva Island and Fort Myers image.


Search or navigate the interactive tools above to see maps of areas below different amounts of sea level rise and flooding, down to neighborhood scale, matched with area timelines of risk. The tool also provides statistics of population, homes and land affected by city, county and state, plus links to factsheets, data downloads, action plans, embeddable widgets, and more. – See more at: http://sealevel.climatecentral.org/#sthash.OVxy7zB9.dpuf

Sanibel Flood

Captiva’s Outlook

“Hurricane Charley Captiva Damage” by Tampa Bay National Weather Service

If you stand on the shore at the high tide mark and look inland, the horizon (minus all the villas and trees) will be about at eye level. At five feet, the mighty peak of the island is less than the height of the average beachgoer, so the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predictions of sea-level rise by the end of the century don’t look good for Captiva. Their curves suggest an outside chance of up to six feet of sea-level rise by 2100, while conservative estimates range from three to four feet. For sure there will be a steady, measurable and troublesome encroachment month by month, year by year. The graph outlines the possibilities and suggests some of the potential timing.

Sea-level rise projections from NOAA

Sea-level rise projections from NOAA

Most likely the perceived impact will be twofold–first the steady rise of the spring and fall high tides moving to the edge of the beach and beyond, damaging the road and coastal homes. Second and more dramatic will be coastal storms gaining impact because of the higher, warmer seas. And if we are unlucky, storms may create surges which overtop and engulf the island, eroding the beaches, but maybe also piling debris to add to that five feet of internal height.

As a barrier island, Captiva will tend to change form and migrate under natural conditions, probably moving toward the mainland shore. This may happen in any event but there is much that we can do to postpone or even change this scenario.

Of course we need to act, reducing emissions and finding ways to store excess carbon, methane and other greenhouse gases. Anything we can do to enhance this process, we should. But even if Captiva and South Florida could achieve zero emissions, our past actions and limited ability to respond globally mean we face ongoing global temperature rise, melting ice sheets, warming oceans and rising seas.

So while thinking globally we also need to be acting locally, especially in vulnerable places like Captiva (and nearby Sanibel where my daughter has a house!) We may not stop water levels rising, but we can lessen the impact by deferring the damage and lengthening the time Captiva remains a beautiful, vibrant part of the world.

Unfortunately, the most obvious measures– structures like sea walls and dykes–won’t work. Captiva is a gift of nature, and natural systems are the best defense for rising seas. Mangroves are wonderful shore protectors as the intricate root structures break up all but the greatest waves and at the same time provide the basic structure of a whole ecosystem of plants and animals. Natural or manually reinforced sand dunes are also excellent natural protectors. Superstorm Sandy provided an unfortunate experiment demonstrating that fact. Communities with coastal dunes were much more protected than those that had cleared the dunes to improve the view.

We can also look at the design of our houses and infrastructure. Can water flow through rather than into our dwellings?

With the presence of the Rauschenberg Residency and its low profile to the sea, Captiva can contribute to the awareness of sea-level rise in two unique ways. One is by monitoring the impacts of the rising waters and the effectiveness of the measures taken to ameliorate impacts.

Secondly, through effective communication and outreach, artists and scientists can assist in defining the problem and helping people and communities adapt and deal with it. Thus Captiva is a living laboratory for the artist and an inspiration for the scientist.

Agitprop in a Bottle, Buster Simpson

Floating a Message from Captiva Island
Curator/organizer perspective #1

Agit Prop in a bottle

Of the many possible actions awaiting us at the Rising Waters think tank confabulation, I am considering an optional opportunity for us to recommit the Robert Rauschenberg silkscreen studio in the spirit of his ROCI (Overseas Cultural Interchange 1984-1991) and address global climate change through a call to public action!

Since 1965, much of Bob’s silkscreen paintings were linked to social or communal causes, the environment, opposition to the war in Vietnam, artists’ rights, and international understanding. The counter culture of the 1960s addressed these concerns by deploying an array of media in the medium of the time, including wearable statements, story telling through song, web press publications and broadsides. Today the medium is also instant, social, and global.

The silkscreen process employed by Rauschenberg and now in our tool bag is intended to be a means to an end, a way to enlarge an image, make a prop, or multiply a word. This is one way to create an agitprop. The distillation of our individual and/or collective thinking could result in an electronic broadside dispersed into the public domain with the intent of encouraging other self-perpetuating public social actions. What then might make an “e-Broadside” memorable, prompting a viral dissemination?

Technical assistance in image and word transfer to silkscreen is available at this exceptional, well equipped studio. Silkscreen printing is unique, in that it can be applied to a variety of surfaces. The results could be digitally recorded and uploaded to the Internet to share, provoke and inspire to action. Expressing values is not new to us but our context of being together will be. I am interested in our collective happenstance on Captiva Island.

Your level of engagement is a personal decision. It could take a couple of hours or a week, could start now, or never end.