Anna Maria Island – A wide variety of seashells, and beach combing goodies can be found along Anna Maria Island beaches. The best beach combing is during low tide, after a storm or strong high tides. A special delight for the hobby beachcomber is a renourishment of the island beaches when the sand is getting pumped onto shore to rebuild the eroded coastline. This year’s project was no exception. Just remember living shells are better to be placed back in the water. There are state laws in place to protect the live organism and the harvest of the Bahama Starfish and just the possession of a live Queen Conch is prohibited altogether.
To identify your treasures visit this website of the Bailey-Matthew Shell Museum and you will find a detailed description of all Southwestern Florida shells.
A common misconception is the sand dollar. It is a living animal that is related to sea urchins. Check out this fascinating video about a moving sand dollar and you will realize they are indeed living creatures.
If you are planning your next island vacation consider staying at this Gulf front cottage on the North end of the island and be the first on the beach to start collecting your free souvenirs or practice this little tongue twister “she sells seashells at the seashore” in the meantime.