In the wake of Hurricane Ian, residents on two Florida islands showed great resilience in different ways. Pine Island, present-day “Old Florida”, embodies the spirit of independence, resourcefulness, freedom, and “being country – and staying country,” says island pitmaster John Petrus. Quick to come together, the residents’ “special spirit” shined when they rebuilt the Pine Island causeway, which would have taken months, in just a few hours using acquired bulldozers and fill. Meanwhile, Sanibel Island, the “New Florida”, has strict building and landscaping regulations which prepared them for the damage and helped them bounce back. Serving as an example of how the region may rebuild, former CIA Director Porter Goss says Sanibel's planning and zoning regulations protect the island's natural resources and guarantee “that there will always be a community in Sanibel.” Even though these two islands’ responses to the damage were different, in the end, the community is what has brought these two islands together and given them resilience and spirit.

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