FL - Guest Editorial: Bradenton Beach addressing environmental, economic challenges
A small beach town is on the verge of making a major difference.
Bradenton Beach, our small beach town, is facing several environmental and economic challenges and is doing something about it. Located on Anna Maria Island, it is the only place with three national estuaries — Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay and Charlotte Harbor.
Along with two other cities on the island, they are developing the most progressive stormwater management and capital improvement programs of any barrier island in the nation to mitigate runoff into marine waters and address sea level rise.
In 2018, most of coastal Florida experienced one of the worst red tide outbreaks in recent history. The impact was devastating to our marine environment and economy. Red tide is a naturally occurring organism that is worsened by nutrient loading runoff. In 2018, Mote Marine Lab recorded the highest cell counts of red tide ever measured in south Sarasota Bay. While other species including manatees and dolphins were killed, crabs and clams survived.