Anna Maria Island beach clean-ups

Photos from the Heart the Sea Beach Clean UpAnna Maria Island – The city of Anna Maria and independent organizations in Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach will be holding Anna Maria Island beach clean-ups during the last weeks of March.

Coquina Beach Clean Up

The Tampa Bay Watch Coastal Cleanup of Coquina Beach is asking you to come and help clean the beach on March 21st from 9am until noon. Bring your own gloves, hats and sunscreen as the Tampa Bay Watch will provide trash bags and trash grabbers. The meeting location is 2650 Gulf Drive, Bradenton, FL 34217. Email Michelle Leahy at michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call at 941-748-4501 ext. 6035 with questions about the clean up. Help keep the beach clean and the wildlife safe!

Anna Maria Beach Clean Up

Taking place on March 28th  starting at the south end of Bayfront Park in the city of Anna Maria at 8am. Bring your own bag or trash can, gloves and anything else you may need. Large items can be placed on the roadside for pickup. For more information call the public works department at 941-708-6130 ext. 26.

Manatee Beach Clean Up

Heart the Sea will be holding a beach clean up at the Manatee Public Beach on March 28th from 4-6pm. Heart the Sea will provide blue plastic gloves, so bring your own bags and grabbers. After the clean up is done head over to Swordfish Grill just over the Cortez Bridge for a free drink when you bring in your blue glove. Manatee Public Beach is located at 4000 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach. Swordfish Grill is located at 4628 119th St W in Cortez. Find out more by emailing HeartTheSea@Gmailc.om or on the Heart the Sea Facebook page.

Support Beach clean-up efforts with new local non-profit organization Heart the Sea.

Anna Maria Island – Heart the Sea, a new local non-profit organization invites all to help clean the beach on February 28th at 4PM starting under Longboat Pass at the Southern tip of Coquina Beach located at 2650 Gulf Drive in the City of Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island. Beach cleaners are encouraged to bring a bucket, no plastic bags, and wear closed toed shoes. Gloves and a few extra buckets will be available. Afterwards, Cleaners are invited to Heart the Sea Sponsor Swordfish Grill; cleaners who bring their cleaning glove to Swordfish Grill will be rewarded with one free drink. Swordfish Grill is located at 4628 119th Street West, Cortez, FL 34215.

Jeff Higgins the Marketing Director at Swordfish Grill says, “We stand by Heart the Sea because just like us, they believe in making sure this natural habitat where we all live and we all love, stays that way for future generations to enjoy”

To stay up to date on Beach Clean ups follow Heart the Sea on Facebook or Twitter Contact Jenny Stonehouse at 941-702-4SEA.

 Heart the Sea Beach Clean-UpHeart The Sea exists for the protection of the Ocean and it’s inhabitants by raising awareness for waterway and beach health. Our vision is for the change of human habits for the benefit of the ocean and it’s animals.

Beach clean-ups are where tourists and locals alike can share a love for the ocean. To be intentional about picking up litter has changed people; Newbies to Heart the Sea beach clean-ups, even children, cannot help themselves from picking up litter whenever they see it after attending one of the clean-ups. All litter eventually ends up in the ocean unless intercepted, and many volunteers are surprised to collect about 5-10 lb of trash per bucket.

Founder of Heart the Sea Jenny Stonehouse elaborates on Heart the Sea and beach clean ups, “About a year ago, I met Hank the Heron on the 77th street beach access with fishing line around his ankle. Hank was wobbling begging the nearby fisherman for food. I called the AMI Wildlife Rescue who came out to try and catch Hank. The volunteer was unsuccessful as Hank did not want to be caught! In my conversation with AMI Wildlife Rescue I discovered that they had been trying to catch Hank for a while. Sadly, Hank did his best to fly down the beach only to be pummeled by another territorial Heron. Heart The Sea was born in my heart on that day. Because fishing line and other harmful items are found and discarded each month, Heart the Sea beach clean-ups are important to the health of our Beaches. Supporting Heart the Sea’s cause means increasing efforts to clean the beach and educating tourists and locals in reducing trash on our beach. We meet, we clean-up, and we go have a drink.”

For several months now Jenny and a small group of Volunteers have been meeting in various parts of Anna Maria Island for clean-ups. Recently, Jenny submitted Heart the Sea’s articles of incorporation to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization making Heart the Sea a truly impactful facilitator of clean beaches. In Celebration of Heart the Sea’s new beginning, Jenny will be set up at The Bridge Street Market in Bradenton Beach February 22nd from 10am-3pm. Jenny will not only be passing out information and recruiting volunteers, but as an artist, Jenny will be selling her artwork with 50% of the proceeds going directly to Heart the Sea.

Anna Maria Island sea turtle tips from TAMI

Hi everyone! My name is Tami the Turtle and I’m a brand new resident of Anna Maria Island.

Of course, I’ve been here before on vacation – everyone knows that Anna Maria is a family friendly spot to get away and during turtle season, up to five species make the trip ashore to hatch their eggs. Loggerheads are the most common, but you’ll also spot the rarer green turtle. From the beginning of May through October, we’re all sharing the beautiful gulf coast beaches.

Tami
Our newest member of the IRE family, Tami

But how can we get along and make sure to keep Anna Maria Island the favorite spot to spend family time? Whether it be in a shell or a fabulous vacation rental property? The answer is blissfully simple: education! Know your beach etiquette during turtle season and don’t be afraid to share it with others. After a while, it will become second nature and Anna Maria Island will be a perfect place to come with your family for all of us.

Turtle Tip #1: Don’t Let Us See the Light.

Turtle hatchlings are very sensitive to lighting. They become disoriented from man-made light sources and turned away from the beach, directly towards danger. Please don’t use a flashlight on the beach at night or any flash photography. Anna Maria Island doesn’t permit any driving on the beach, but do be aware of your headlights. Minimize any beachfront lighting at your property. Also please keep in mind that if you’re walking around at night during Turtle Season that baby turtles are easily stepped on in the dark. That’s certainly no way to make friends on the beach.

Turtle Tip #2: Too Adorable to Touch

We know, we know – us turtles have heard it a thousand times before. We’re the cutest things you ever did see. But please be sure to keep your distance if you spot any baby turtles or hatching females. Mama Turtles can have a hard time laying their eggs with people around and only a professional should handle misguided babies. Get in touch with AMI Turtle Watch at (941) 778-5638 should you ever spot a distressed or dead turtle. This includes any unmarked

Turtle Tip #3: Pick Up Your Toys

We know that you would never litter – the beaches around here are famously pristine and that helps keep the sands safe for natives, tourists, and turtles alike. But also be sure to fill in any holes from building sandcastles and double check that you have all the toys you brought down to the shore with you.

To learn more about us, get in touch with our friends over at the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch. Or visit a few of the patients in Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital. We’re all very lucky to be sharing this seven miles strip of paradise, so let’s work together to keep it the pride of Florida’s gulf coast.

I’m really looking forward to us being friends. Keep an eye out for me around Island Real Estate’s website and blogs.

Shells and kisses, Tami 

Sea Lions: On the Water’s Edge at Mote Marine Aquarium

Sea-Lion-Mote-Marine
Sea Lions: On the Water’s Edge

We are sorry, this exhibit is now closed however the Mote Marine Laboratory hosts special guests on a fairly regular basis.  Visit Mote Marine’s website for more information on educational events.  Sea Lions at Mote Marine ran up until May 1, 2013.  Sea Lions: On the Water’s Edge was a temporary exhibit running in The Aquarium featuring a trio of Patagonian sea lions who are very comfortable in the spotlight. This thirty minute show ran three times a day, seven days a week at 11:30am, 1:30pm, and 3:30pm. Admission is included in the regular Mote Marine ticket price, so you can enjoy all that Sarasota’s famous marine research center and aquarium has to offer – including some new sea lion themed features and goodies in the gift shop.

In between performances of Sea Lions: On the Water’s Edge be sure to check out all the regular features at Mote Marine including a sting ray touch tank, shark tanks, sea turtles and manatee rehabilitation hospitals.  At the time of this post the admission is $19 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and older, $14 for ages 4-12, and free for children under 3 years old.  Visit the Mote Marine for accurate rates.

Sea Lions: On the Water’s Edge was a charming, family friendly and educational performance, which keeps the little ones so enthralled they won’t even realize they’ve learned something when it’s over. Sea lions are members of the pinned family, which means “flipper footed” and includes seals, sea lions, and walruses. This narrated demonstration will teach you all about their natural athleticism, intelligence, and playfulness while also educating audiences on rescue and conservation efforts. This is a real treat for Anna Maria Island visitors and native Floridians alike.  As most know, there are no sea lions to be found in the Gulf of Mexico. They must not have heard how pristine and peaceful our beaches are.

The sea lions at Mote Marine, affectionately referred to as “the girls”, are Stella, Rose, and Kitty. And they have a wide variety of tricks to show off including hand stands, back flips, and some rather impressive dance moves. But they haven’t let show business go completely to their head – after the show is over, you’ll have the opportunity to cuddle up with these friendly marine mammals and have your picture taken. They do have one rule – “don’t touch the sea lions, let the sea lions touch you”. Prints are available, at any extra cost, in three different sizes.

Anna Maria Island, Florida is the world’s favorite place to vacation and that seems to have extended to our flipper footed friends as well! Be sure to stop by Mote Marine and check out Sea Lions: On the Water’s Edge before they head back home at the end of April. We’re sure this educational show will gain your own seal of approval!

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-388-4441