Categories
Beaches Fishing Fishing Report Weather

Anna Maria Island Not Affected by Florida Algae Outbreak

Anna Maria Island beaches remains pristine during the Florida algae outbreak crisis. While no algae is reported in Manatee County, conditions remain beautiful.

Florida algae outbreak

Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach and Lee are suffering from the outbreak. All of these areas are south of Anna Maria Island. The majority of the blue-green algae is on the Atlantic coast of Florida, while little is on the Gulf coast.

Florida counties map
St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach Counties are on the Atlantic Coast. Lee Count is on the Gulf coast south of Anna Maria Island, Manatee County.

 

The Blue-green algae in the four affected counties is described as a guacamole thick mat floating toward the waters surface. The algae has a putrid smell, and is also harmful to both people and wildlife.

A state of emergency is in affect in the four counties by Governor Rick Scott. High amounts of rainfall, high temperature, pollution and nutrient rich water cause the outbreak. The bloom originated in lake Okeechobee, and was spread to St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries that lead out to coastal areas. Lake Okeechobee water was released to mitigate flooding. Subsequently, as the water made its way through the estuaries it brought the algae with it.

What is causing it?

Historically water from Lake Okeechobee in the center of the state makes its way south through the Everglades watershed. This is where it goes through a more natural filtering process. This historic process reduces the amount of algae. Water is moved to coastal estuaries for flooding risks per water management decisions.

South Florida Watershed Florida algae outbreak
Historic versus current watershed. Infograph courtesy of Miami New Times.

 

The Army corp of Engineers began reducing the amount of water released into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries as of July 1, 2016 to help reduce the effects of the blue-green algae on coastal areas. The full impact of the algae bloom is still playing out.

With the devastating impact on the south Florida coastlines, Anna Maria Island has remained unaffected. It is north of Lake Okeechobee and the south Florida watershed.

If you are planning or have planned an Anna Maria Island vacation you are safe to swim. No reports of algae are in effect. Red tide is not currently around Manatee County during the bloom.

While on Anna Maria Island enjoy a gorgeous day on the beach!

 

 

Categories
Recreation The Things that Locals Know! Weather

Anna Maria Island Sea Life

It’s always amazing to see what treasures you can find looking for Anna Maria Island Sea Life. This time of year makes for great shelling and snorkeling, even just off the beach. Sunny skies and calm waters are perfect for seeing fish and other treasures.

Saving Sand Dollars For A Rainy Day

These sand dollars were found while boating around Anna Maria Island. There were so many it was hard not to step on them! The sand dollar is a burrowing, flattened sea urchin belonging to the order Clypeasteroida. When they are this color, they are “alive” and should not be removed from the water. Still, these treasures are amazing to find and photograph.  This star fish was found in the Gulf of Mexico off Holmes Beach, FL on a particular calm and clear day. If getting on the water is something you are into, make a point to check out some of the local boat captains that can put you on the water.   You can expire some of these unique spots to feel, touch, and learn about the sea life just below the surface.  It is truly amazing what the Gulf of Mexico and Anna Maria Island has to offer.  Throw on a mask and see what you can find!
Categories
Recreation Weather

Seasonal Weather Changes on Anna Maria Island

Are you looking forward to the next Seasonal Weather Change on Anna Maria Island?

When a cold front comes through up north, we prepare by getting out the scarves, mittens, hats, winter jackets, and maybe even the boots because we can know that the temperatures are going to dip, possibly to below freezing, thereby bringing along some sleet or snow.

The kids get excited because they may wake up to find that school will be closed, while parents make sure the cupboards are stocked and the heat is working.   If there is a fireplace available, plenty of wood will be brought in, and everyone will look forward to family times around a cozy fire.

Cold Fronts – Who Cares!

When a cold front comes through Anna Maria Island, we look forward to turning off the air conditioning. We even go around opening up the doors and windows.  We know that the temperatures will drop a few degrees at least, but most importantly we anticipate the lower humidity.

Now we’ll be able to ride our bikes, take our daily runs or walks, and get those outside chores accomplished! We didn’t even have to get up at the crack of dawn to avoid suffering heat exhaustion.  Our lanais and docks will be enjoyed for cocktails and dinners while everyone marvels at the beautiful, clear weather and lovely breezes.

If the temperatures drop too much, we’ll see people out and about. Full-time residents will be very clearly distinguished from the vacationers.

There will be some people wearing heavy sweaters, or winter coats even, while others will be in their swimsuits and cover-ups.  Of course, the beach is never off-limits especially for those who have escaped the “really cold” weather up north!

Recently, I took a picture of a cold front approaching over the Gulf of Mexico at 9:30am.  After about an hour or so of much needed rain, we got busy opening up of the house.  Don’t forget to work on some of those outside chores I mentioned earlier.

I went back to the beach at 4:00pm where the sun was shining beautifully. There were even lots of people who were taking advantage of the warm water. These cold fronts are hard to take, aren’t they?