UPDATES ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND NEWS
Red tide – Most everyone is talking about it and there is some good news for those on Anna Maria Island.
Mote Marine Laboratory reported that as of 3 p.m. August 7th, conditions had improved at Manatee Public Beach and Coquina Beach, two popular public beaches on Anna Maria Island. At Manatee Beach, Mote reported the water was dark in colour and that beachgoers were reporting lessened amounts of respiratory irritation, but there was no red drift and only some dead fish on the beach.
The south end of the Island at Coquina Beach the conditions had improved considerably with no signs of dead fish that were seen on Monday. There was almost no smell and the water appeared clear. Some families ventured onto the beach with their coolers and umbrellas some even slashing in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Tuesday morning canals on Holmes Beach still saw an accumulation of dead fish, while the conditions on the Gulf side were much improved. Volunteers were seen cleaning the beaches removing dead fish and disposing of them.
Red tide conditions were also better yesterday at the Rod and Reel Pier in the city of Anna Maria than they had been the previous day. There was lots of activity on the pier with diners and visitors fishing or enjoying the sunny day. Our friend who lives in Bradenton Beach was among those fishing and when we spoke to him last evening he told us he didn’t catch anything, but was happy to just cast his line into the water.
Sea Turtles – As you walk along the shore line on Anna Maria you will see areas marked off where sea turtles have nested. Nesting season runs from May 1 to October 31 and this year a new record has been set with 507 nests being laid so far. So has red tide affected the hatchlings? According to executive director of Anna Maria Turtle Watch, Suzi Fox, because the hatchlings are surface swimmers they have done well. Fox says they race straight out to the weed line, often passing the red tide. It seems turtle disorientation is more of a concern. The hatchlings follow the light from the moon leading them to the water. Non-friendly exterior lights from along the beach disorient the hatchlings causing them to crawl inland rather than toward the sea.
When the hatchlings become disoriented they run around and lose the energy they need to swim. Especially during red tide these hatchlings need their energy to swim past the red tide.
Anna Maria City Pier Construction – If you have been following our previous blogs regarding about the Anna Maria City pier, closing in September 2017 due to damage cause from Hurricane Irma, the demolition in July of this year then you will be happy to know another piece of the pier puzzle is complete. All federal permits are in place as the city has received the approved Army Corps of Engineers permit needed to build a new city pier. Next is the bid proposals from construction companies interested in building the new pier.
When the reconstruction work is completed, the new pier and structures should look pretty much identical to the old. The new will include a 12-foot-wide by 683-foot-long pier with a 58-foot-long by 111-foot-wide T-head which will be home to a restaurant as well as a bait and tackle shop.
The projected date for construction for completion of the new pier is expected to be late 2020.
*A special thank you to our current guests from the UK Pat and Ginette O’Higgins for the daily red tide updates and photos*
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