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.

Experience Anna Maria Island wildlife with AMI Bird Nerd

Anna Maria Island – Bird Watching on Anna Maria Island is a must for visitors! Home to a wide variety of migratory and year round species, the Island is teaming with Birds from small passerines and large waders to the most common and rare. Bird Watchers on Anna Maria Island are never disappointed by their findings.

AMI Bird Nerd is here to assist visitors in choosing places to Bird watch and provide tools to effectively find and learn about local birds and wildlife. AMI Bird Nerd provides Binocular Rentals, Free Informational Mobile Apps and suggested places to find birds.

AMI Bird Nerd is committed to providing Anna Maria Island vacationers the opportunity to learn about and view local wildlife and birds. AMI Bird Nerd intends to fulfill this commitment in several ways. First, by providing Free Mobile Apps featuring local birds, birding tips, the importance of Florida ecosystems like Marsh and Mangrove, and navigation instructions through local nature viewing locations. Secondly, by providing Binocular rentals to visitors so they can experience wildlife up close from a distance and; therefore, helping alleviate the disturbance to species in their habitat. Last, AMI Bird Nerd will contribute 10% of profits to local and international wildlife conservation efforts.

Co-owner Bonnie Ferran elaborates on AMI Bird Nerd. “The challenge for beginning bird watchers is overcoming frustration. Often times, at first, bird identification can be overwhelming making the hobby too difficult to enjoy. Our intention is for AMI Bird Nerd to assist beginners in learning skills to better identify birds while avoiding frustration. Beyond birds, We want to help educate Anna Maria and Manatee County locals and visitors about vital Florida ecosystems and safe wildlife viewing practices”.

 Click HERE for rent your bird watching binoculars today!

AMI-Bird-Nerd-Birdwatching-and-Binocular-Tours-on-Anna-Maria-Island

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.

AMI Bird Nerd Announces Launch of Indiegogo Crowd Funding Efforts for New Anna Maria Island Business

New Anna Maria Island Business AMI Bird Nerd announces Indiegogo Crowd Funding Efforts.

AMI Bird Nerd

Saturday, September 27th marked the launch of AMI Bird Nerds 30 day Indiegogo Crowd Funding Campaign. The Campaign needs help covering start up expenses and equipment. Additionally, funds are needed for Co-owner Bonnie Ferran to begin a Florida Master Naturalist Certification. This organization is also committed to educating visitors about Florida’s environment.  To fulfill this commitment they will provide free Mobile Apps about local birds and wildlife and Binocular Rentals to Manatee County’s Islands.

Indiegogo Crowd Fund

According to the Indiegogo website, “Indiegogo is the world’s most established crowdfunding platform. Crowdfunding is the process of pooling money from many different people to make an idea happen. Indiegogo is a way to discover projects that people are passionate about all over the world; where you can take action to help create more of what you love.”

Bonnie Ferran Co-owner says, “ As a Bradenton Beach Resident I am extremely fortunate to experience a great variety of birds and wildlife residing on and migrating through the Island every year, and I wanted to make my passion a full time endeavor. Beside my personal enjoyment of Florida wildlife and bird watching, I want to become an advocate of our fragile ecosystem and work to educate visitors about the threats affecting Florida environment and help locals understand what uniqueness local wildlife has to offer.”

Eco-Tourism

About the business aspects of eco-tourism based AMI Bird Nerd, Bonnie’s husband Co-owner  Hector Ferran mentions “Our previous marketing and business experience in running The VIllage Magazine positions us to succeed at creating and running AMI Bird Nerd. We’ve developed two SEO strong websites, one for AMI Bird Nerd and one for our Bird Blog StarlingAndGrackleAreFriends.com, and are currently developing free and paid mobile apps to help birders in the area whether they use our Binocular service or not. ”

AMI Bird Nerd $5 Perk from IndieGoGo campaignContributors to the AMI Bird Nerd Indiegogo campaign get really fun perks. As little as a $5 contribution gets a perk. They include having the contributors face photoshopped on to an original image of local bird photographs also by Hector. Additionally, Perks offered include a recipe to Bonnie and Hector’s favorite libation Island Juice, A corn dog bird sticker reminding people not to feed the gulls, Binocular rentals for two or four people.

Silhouettes at Sunset ~ 9~15~2014 ~ Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island ~ A Romantic Sunset
Romance on Anna Maria Island

The summer has come and gone and we are entering into fall! The atmosphere changes from tourists bustling around the Island enjoying vacations with family and friends to less crowded locals soaking up the peace and quiet for about a month on Anna Maria Island. I find fall sunsets to be the most beautiful because the skies are a much deeper blue and late afternoon showers give way to more grandeur sunsets! It is a perfect time for couples to nestle their chairs in the sand and let the sunset serve as their entertainment. The turtles are still hatching and the shore birds, dolphins and manatees all add that touch of wildlife for which Anna Maria Island is so well known especially to the locals. Soon we will see fall festivals happening along the Gulf of Mexico, both on and off the Island offering seafood and live music as well as arts and crafts. Islanders are always excited to put on their jeans and open their windows to feel the cross breezes and fresh air!  And at the end of the day we find our reward for hard work is to be able to walk to the beach to rest and relax as we experience another amazing sunset pulling the shade down as day fades into night…as summer fades into fall!   

 

Anna Maria Soaring Sunset
Soaring Sunset on Anna Maria Island

 

Created by Melinda Bordes Melinda@annamariasunset.com 941-705-0146…Whether buying or selling real estate on Anna Maria Island or surrounding areas feel free to call me to assist you in the process. Together we can find that perfect slice of paradise so you can soak up our amazing sunsets no matter the season!

 

Tami’s Favorite Anna Maria Island Wildlife

Tami WildlifeHi everybody! I’m Tami Turtle, and I’m hanging out with the wildlife on Anna Maria Island today! AMI has an extremely diverse wildlife community. There are sea turtles (like me), pelicans, cranes, herons, egrets, dolphins, manatees and more! What animal is your favorite to see on Anna Maria Island?

WILDLIFE, INC. EDUCATION & REHABILITATION CENTER ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND

I started my morning with Melinda Bordes at Wildlife Inc. in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island.  Wildlife, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that specializes in the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife, so they can return to the wild.  Melinda Bordes is a hard working realtor here at Island Real Estate, and gives back to the community by volunteering at Wildlife Inc.

Continue reading WILDLIFE, INC. EDUCATION & REHABILITATION CENTER ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND

World’s Longest Conga Line This Weekend On Anna Maria Island

Worlds Largest Conga Line
Come And Join The World’s Longest Conga Line This Weekend
Mike Sales and other Anna Maria Island organizers are attempting the world’s longest conga line in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island this Saturday. This event will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23, on the beach behind the Moose Lodge, located at 110 Gulf Drive S., in Bradenton Beach, just north of the Bridge Street.
Festivities will start earlier in the day.  The gathering point is Bradenton Beach roundabout at Bridge Street. (Moose Lodge)

11:00am The Moose will be open for beverages and we will have music. Our very talented local artist, Cheeta, will be performing “Live Sand Art”

12:30pm-1pm  Begin to line up for Conga

1:00pm-2:00pm  CONGA!!! Will include live music by Mike Sales, a video will be shot for a music video. Aerial Photos to be taken.

The proceeds from the event will benefit the Moonracer No-Kill Animal Rescue founded by Lisa Williams. Moonracer No-Kill Animal Rescue has started a no kill animal campaign for Manatee County, and locals are starting to get on board, I know I am.
Save the animals they have rights too! See you all in Bradenton Beach on Saturday at 1p.m. so we can all be a part of the world’s longest conga line with original music played by Mike Sales.

SOS – Ducklings saved thanks to Wildlife, Inc on Anna Maria Island

Spending a day on our beautiful beaches on Anna Maria Island is usually very relaxing. Not so much recently when my family and I were witnesses to a “dramatic” event! Four ducklings who had obviously lost their mother were waddling along the beach when 2 crows came swooping by and grabbed a duckling each. We immediately jumped into action and caught the remaining two ducklings and brought them home in our beach bag. First we were not quite sure what to do until Melinda Bordes from the Island Real Estate Team gave us the tip to drop them off at Wildlife, Inc. This is a rehabilitation center on Anna Maria Island for injured or orphaned animals. Gail and Ed Straight run this remarkable non-profit facility right here in Bradenton Beach and are handling between 3000 and 4000 cases annually.

When we dropped our ducklings off Ed just added them to the approximate 20 others that were already there. This was by the way the only chance to survive for our ducklings. They were only a week old and needed other little guys like them to learn gender appropriate behavior. Once they are about 2 months old they will be released into the wild in Duette in Eastern Manatee County.
Being at the rehabilitation Center for the first time Ed was gracious enough to give us a guided tour. They had 200 animals to take care of at the time. We saw all kinds of birds like owls, pelican, seagull, vulture and a parrot named Houdini. He knows 200 sentences (but not all G-rated….). Other animals like racoons, oppossums and armadillo were also guests of Gail and Ed Straight. We happened to be there at feeding time and volunteers arrived to lend a helping hand. The center relies on those dedicated workers since its doors are open 24/7 and it does not receive any government support. The center is financed by donations, educational programs and a yearly blood drive where your blood donation can earn up to $ 100 for the charity of your choice.

Wildlife Inc
Wildlife Inc of Anna Maria Island

Contact Information:
Wildlife, Inc
Education & Rehabilitation Center
www.wildlifeinc.org
Phone 941 – 778 6324

For other information about nature and wildlife on Anna Maria Island visit our Island Real Estate blog and enter “nature” as your search word.

Highlands Hammock State Park – the "real" Florida

If you need a break from the beach take a ride to the “real” Florida. The Highlands Hammock State Park is centrally located in the middle of Florida, near Sebring. This park is one of Florida’s first state parks and known for its beautiful old-growth hammock and cypress swamps. A 3.1 mile loop drive gives a first impression. In addition there are nine different nature trails that take visitors through lush, jungle-like foliage. There are habitats like the pine flatwoods, hardwood swamp, marshes, scrub vegetation and lots of wildlife to discover. White-tailed deer, raccoons, bobcats, tortoises, herons, anhingas, ibis and of course alligators are among the animals living in the state park. The most popular hiking trail is the Cypress Swamp Trail that takes you on a 30 minute walk on an elevated boardwalk. The swamp borders a blackwater stream in the lowest elevation and numerous key points include the variety of plants, birds and other wildlife.
A large picnic area, 159 campsites, horse trails, playground, restaurant and the Civilian Conversation Corps Museum are other features of the park.  During my visit I took the tram ride that leaves daily at 1 pm if there are at least 5 passengers present. For $5 this is possibly the best value you can get in any state park. Our park ranger Nick provided us with a wealth of information while touring the remote areas on this 60 minute ride. I guess it is even more interesting as we were very lucky to see all kinds of wildlife including a wild boar. Take a look at the pictures!

Contact Information:
Highlands Hammock State Park
5931 Hammock Road
Sebring, Fl 33872
http://www.stateparks.com/highlands_hammock.html

For other great activities or suggestions for your leisure time please visit our Island Real Estate blog.