6 Ways to Celebrate World Oceans Day on Anna Maria Island

Here are 6 ways to celebrate World Oceans Day on Anna Maria Island. While the powder fine sand and blue water on Anna Maria Island are worth celebrating everyday, follow our guide on how to help keep AMI waterways beautiful on this special day.

6 Ways to Celebrate World Oceans Day on Anna Maria Island

It’s easy to help keep Anna Maria Island beautiful. Follow our guide for World Oceans Day, not just on June 8th, but eveyday!

Clean it up!

Clean up the beach for World Oceans Day!
Clean up the beach for World Oceans Day!

The best way to celebrate World Oceans Day is by picking up garbage on the beach. Even though our beaches are wonderfully pristine, there is a good chance you probably encounter at least a little bit of garbage every time you visit. Today be the change, and pick it up!

You don’t have to spend hours walking along the coastline to feel like you made a difference. If you only spend two minutes picking up trash you have helped! You’ll be amazed at how much stuff you’ll find in even a short period of time. As you look for garbage on the beach check out clumps of seaweed and the areas around sea oats. Litter and trash tend to get caught up in these areas. However, be sure to keep off the sand dunes and sea oats as they are a very fragile and important environment.

When you start picking up trash there’s a good chance onlookers will see you, and be more cautious about their own garbage. You may even find your actions cause others to join in!

Every year millions of birds and marine animals die from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastics and litter. The health of these animals depends on you to help!

Donate

Another great way to help save the Oceans is by donating to organizations who support this cause. Mote Marine Laboratory is a fantastic organization that will be accepting donations for World Oceans Day. They will be hosting a 48 hour giving event June 2-4, but donations are welcome any time!

Mote Marine is an amazing facility that not only works to save Marine life, but educates people of all ages about the unique species and environments in Florida. Every year they rescue tons of endangered sea turtles along with many other programs that help humans gain better understanding of the world.

Practice Responsible Boating

Practice Responsible Boating on World Oceans Day
Practice Responsible and safe boating

A great way to help world Oceans is by boating responsibly. Never throw garbage into the water, and if you see floating debris try to pick it out. Be sure trash is in a safe receptacle to ensure it doesn’t blow off into waterways.

In Florida it is safe to say all bodies of water have marine animals. Always be aware of your surroundings when boating, and be on the lookout for wildlife. Follow signage and idle zones marked specifically to warn of Manatees. Dolphins, Manatees and Sea Turtles are too often hit by boat propellers. Do your best to avoid speeding through the areas where they are known to live.

Keep your boat in areas that are appropriate for your make and model of vessel. Running your boat aground in Florida waterways can damage sea grasses that provide food and shelter to marine life. Never tie your boat up to Mangroves or allow your anchor to drag through reef environments.

Eat Sustainable Seafood

Sustainable Seafood Anna Maria Island
Eat Sustainable Seafood to help reduce over fishing ocean marine life.

Sustainable Seafood is always the best alternative. Sure we all love those high-end Tuna cuts, but there are so many different species of seafood that often go over looked.

Over fishing is a global problem. Without careful conservation some species could disappear from the worlds oceans in just a few decades. When you choose sustainable fish you choose healthy oceans.

There are many questions to ask when purchasing sustainable fish. Was it net or line caught? was it farm raised or wild? Domestic or import? Asking these questions to your local fish monger will allow you to find more ethically sourced seafood.

When visiting Anna Maria Island you’ll find sustainable seafood isn’t hard to come by. Local examples of sustainable seafood include Lionfish, Mullet and Venus Sunray Clams. Cobia and Snapper from the Gulf are also considered good choices. Here is a handy website to assist you in choosing sustainable seafood.

Reduce your carbon footprint

carbon footprint
Reduce your carbon foot print to help negative effects of climate change.

You can help reduce the effects of climate change on our oceans by reducing your carbon footprint. This isn’t a new idea, and there are tons of ways to be mindful of your energy use. Leave your car and walk or bike when you can. This is easy to do on Anna Maria Island! Everyone knows you can bike all over, hop on the free trolley, or even walk to your destination while visiting the Island.

Other ways to reduce your energy consumption include taking the stairs, switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs, and don’t over set your thermostat. Making tiny efforts to change the way you consume energy is a great way to reduce carbon and the negative effects of climate change on world oceans

Inspire Others

Celebrate World Oceans Day on Anna Maria Island
Inspire others to help save the worlds oceans for future generations.

Take time to learn about oceans and waterways, and inspire others to help make a difference. When you learn how oceans are vital to a healthy earth you’ll find yourself taking steps to protect it.

Visit local aquariums, science centers and wildlife attractions dealing with marine life. Educate yourself about oceans then take your knowledge and inspire others to help save the ocean!

Do your part this year and celebrate World Oceans Day on Anna Maria Island!

Anna Maria Island Sustainable Seafood – The Sunray Venus Clam.

Anna Maria Island – All over coastal Florida the Sunray Venus Clam is gaining recognition as a sustainable, and delicious new addition to the state aquaculture market, and Anna Maria Island has hopped on this new trend.

The Sunray Venus Clam has a softer shell than most farmed clams making it a little pricier on the current market. These Clams have a sweet briny conch like taste, and a large tender meaty foot. When frozen fresh Sunray Venus Clams have an almost 100% open rate; much higher than most species. Sunray Venus Clams grow from South Carolina to Florida and get to be about 3 inches long. They have a beautiful shell that turns a pink salmon color when cooked.

Recently Bruce Barber a Professor of Marine Science at Eckerd College has started research on Sunray Venus Clams around Anna Maria Island’s bay side. In July Barber received an $82,000 grant from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer service’s Division of Aquaculture to specifically study the eating and reproductive habits of Sunray Venus Clams. During the year long project, Barber will be studying a natural population of the clams just south of the Anna Maria City Pier to gain information to better inform shell fish fisheries like locals run Bay Shellfish company.

In Florida all submerged coastal land is state owned. Currently only 2,250 of 280,000 acres of this submerged land are leased for aquaculture. With such a great deal of available space there is a lot of potential for growing Sunray Venus Clams that could be a great boon to the Florida shell fish market.

Anna Maria Island restaurateur and partner at Bay Shellfish company Ed Chiles is on the forefront of supplying the Island with this delicious bivalves. Currently the Sunray Venus Clams can be found at all three of Chiles restaurants The Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista Dockside.  Chiles believes Tampa Bay waters to the north of Anna Maria Island are the perfect area to grow Sunray Venus Clams because of water temperature, quality and nutrient content.

Next time you visit Anna Maria Island be sure to support local aquaculture and try out Sunray Venus Clams.

Sunray Venus Clam
Sunray Venus Clam photo Credit: http://pureflorida.blogspot.com/2011/03/st-josephs-peninsula-state-park.html

Resources:

Tampa Bay Times, “Sunray Venus clams could be Florida’s next big aquaculture crop“, online edition August 22, 2015.

Solo Travel Girl, “Florida Aquaculture: Learning About Sunray Venus Clams in Charlotte Harbor

ChefsResources.com, Venus Sunray Clams