Author Archives: Mike

Red Tide At Anna Maria Island

Red tide algae bloom was detected on Anna Maria Island shores August 3, 2018, and affected air and sealife soon after. While the municipalities and county services cleaned up dead fish on the beaches, the irritating smell sent people to seek indoor relief and, as word spread, visitors cancelled their trips.

(Update September 5, 2018 below at end of article.)

The current bloom is from microscopic Karenia Brevis, an alga native to Gulf of Mexico, spreading north from Naples to Tampa Bay.

K. Brevis concentrations Florida Gulf Coast, from Florida Wildlife Conservation http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

K. Brevis concentrations Florida Gulf Coast, from Florida Wildlife Conservation http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

Dead fish started turning up in the bay-side waters and canals a few days ago, but not as prevalent as the last red tide fish kill in December, 2015, which lasted several weeks.

Dead fish and sea grass August 2018 Red Tide Anna Maria Island

Dead fish and sea grass August 2018 Red Tide

Red Tide fish kill December 2015

Red Tide December 2015 piled dead fish at the end of canals

Red tide January 2013 fish kill on Anna Maria Island beach

Red tide January 2013 fish kill on Anna Maria Island beach

Since August 20, 103 manatee have died of which 29 tested positive for K. Brevis, and suspected in the 74 others. The manatee death toll so far this year from all causes has reached 554, compared to 527 for all of 2017.

Red tide also affects turtles and seabirds. “This year so far, we have rescued or recovered a total of 137 sea turtles,” said Hayley Rutger, spokesperson for Mote Marine Laboratory. “A lot of those were already deceased. Some of them were affected by humans, like boat strikes or entanglements in fishing gear, but some of them are suspected to have been affected by the ongoing red tide bloom.”

“Cormorants will dive through the water, and they’re basically diving right through the blooms so they’re getting it in their eyes and their faces and their mouths,” explained Avian Hospital Administrator Dana Leworthy. “They don’t necessarily need to ingest the fish to get the red tide.”

Although the Florida red tide is a naturally occurring phenomenon, agricultural and urban runoff can prolong red tide blooms inshore. Continue reading “Red Tide At Anna Maria Island” »

Hurricane Charley washed over Captiva Island in 2004

2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

The 2018 extended range tropical forecast has been released updated by Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science.

As at April 5 July 2, the forecast is for slightly above average storm activity below average activity for the Atlantic Ocean basin. The current weak La Niña is not expected to transition into a significant El Niño by summer and fall. El Niño conditions create vertical wind shear that inhibits hurricane formation. Without wind shear, the tropical Atlantic is conducive to storm development.

We have decreased our forecast and now believe that 2018 will have below-average activity. The tropical and subtropical Atlantic is currently much colder than normal, and the odds of a weak El Niño developing in the next several months have increased. With the decrease in our forecast, the probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean has decreased as well.

The forecast predicts a slightly above-average below average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean.
(full details at https://tropical.colostate.edu/media/sites/111/2018/07/2018-07.pdf)

2018 Forecast numbers: Continue reading “2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast” »

Beach Front Island Homes

What styles of Anna Maria Island homes are on the Gulf beach?

Construction on sandy beach front has changed a lot in 80 years, with easier access, higher standard of living, FEMA rules, and wealthier newcomers. Many older properties have been remodeled and often demolished to be replaced by larger houses.

Here are a few examples of houses built since the island’s early visitors through to today’s new construction.

White beach cottage 1940

Built c.1940

Yellow bungalow 1945

Built c. 1965

Continue reading “Beach Front Island Homes” »

Anna Maria Island High Season

Bean Point beach Anna Maria

Bean Point beach Anna Maria

When is the Anna Maria Island High Season? That depends on who you ask. For the rental industry, most tourists come in winter, between Thanksgiving and Easter. Rates go up towards the end of November and down about the beginning of May.

But times are changing and the “shoulder” seasons are extending into all of November and after April. Summer is also the busiest time for day visitors, who escape the inland heat for the cooler beaches and water activities and bring their kids who are out of school. Longer daylight hours attract after-work beachgoers. However, these visitors don’t have an impact on the rental real estate market as much as they do on the restaurant and bar trade.

As a year-round resident, who endures the high humidity and storms of summer, my respect for the wisdom of the snowbirds grows every year. From October through May, there are many days that are just about perfect. The people who come here during that period avoid a lot of discomfort and worry. They don’t have to worry about whether they are in a structure that will withstand the high winds of summer hurricanes. They don’t have to postpone a walk for fear of being struck by lightning, as often is the case in summer. The good news for those of us who stay here year-round is that high tourist season does not fill the entire period from October through May, so we get to enjoy many days that are near perfect, without crowds.

The busiest time of year seems to be around Presidents’ Day, the third Monday in February. Schools are on break and warmer weather brings out the winter hibernators. Travel can be brought to a standstill for hours as cars search for parking spots and bridge openings stop traffic flowing. Congestion is increasing each year as more people discover Anna Maria Island and try to squeeze onto a finite space.

Continue reading “Anna Maria Island High Season” »

Tour Of Homes Anna Maria Island 2018

The 2018 “Tour Of Homes” is Saturday, March 17th, from 10 am to 4 pm. This year will mark the 25th for the event that raises money for the non-profit community center “The Center of Anna Maria Island”, which provides educational and recreational programs for youths, teens, seniors, and a disaster shelter.

These are the 5 homes open to visitors and a bazaar at The Center.

  • 242 Gladiolus Drive, Anna Maria
  • 420 Magnolia Avenue, Anna Maria
  • 1 Palm Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach
  • 627 Emerald Lane, Holmes Beach
  • 628 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach
242 Gladiolus Drive, Anna Maria

242 Gladiolus Drive, Anna Maria

420 Magnolia Avenue, Anna Maria

420 Magnolia Avenue, Anna Maria

1 Palm Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach

1 Palm Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach

627 Emerald Lane, Holmes Beach

627 Emerald Lane, Holmes Beach

628 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach

628 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach

Admission charge is $30 with tickets available at The Center, home tour locations, and local businesses.
Proceeds benefit The Center of Anna Maria Island programs.

The Center Of Anna Maria Island, 407 Magnolia Avenue, Anna Maria

The Center Of Anna Maria Island, 407 Magnolia Avenue, Anna Maria

For the Tour Of homes, The Center holds a bazaar, with original arts and crafts for sale and auction, in addition to a raffle to win a handmade quilt created by the Eyeland Needlers (tickets $1). Food and refreshments are available from vendors.

Free parking is available at Crosspointe Fellowship Church located at 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.

Park and Ride at the Crosspointe Fellowship Church

Park and Ride at the Crosspointe Fellowship Church

You are encouraged to bike, shuttle bus, ride The Center van, or take volunteers’ complimentary golf cart rides to the Tour of Homes locations as street parking is limited.

Real-time traffic conditions on island bridges and roads are available at:
http://www.localconditions.com/weather-bradenton-florida/34215/traffic.php

Weather conditions can be found at:
https://www.wunderground.com/weather/us/fl/anna-maria/KFLANNAM2