In 2002 we ran away from Illinois where we were born and raised, and started a new life in SW Florida. This blog is about me (an eccentric old artist), ROM (my Real Old Man), Isabella (our neurotic Standard Poodle) and Emmy (our crazy snake killing Jack Russell Terrier). Oh- and the neighborhood old people. Life is good in Florida!

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Our Powdered Sugar Beaches Are No More

What a difference a couple of weeks and a tropical storm can make. Two weeks ago the Gulf water was crystal clear and the beaches were like white powdered sugar on Anna Maria Island. We ventured out to the island yesterday for the first time since TS Debby vacationed here for days on end. Debby lingered in our area like the tourists and snowbirds who are reluctant to leave and always over stay their welcome. Damn, that bitch was like the uninvited family with bratty kids who unexpectedly descends on you and leaves your home a broken mess when they leave. Not only were the turtle nests gone, large chunks of the beach were missing. Gone was the  sun sparkled clear Gulf water that was perfect for snorkeling. In its place was dark murky water. 



 Here are some photos comparing before the storm and after. The upper photo is what we found yesterday. The lower photo is what it looked like two weeks ago.




 Here is another comparison of before and after. The upper photo is the beach now and the lower one is from two weeks ago.  







Before Tropical Storm Debbie the beaches on Anna Maria Island were like white powdered sugar as seen in the photo above. First thing I'd do when arriving at the beach was to kick my shoes off. Now the powder white sand is gone and all that's left is a thin strip of coarse crushed shells which is quite uncomfortable to walk on... 

 





Sand dunes now look like this with sea oat roots exposed.


Some parts of the beach now have sharp drop offs carved into them. Notice the the strip of water in the right side of the photo- that used to be beach but now is a drop off trapping high tide water.


What used to be sand dunes that blended in with the beach now look like sharp angled cliffs.




This photo was taken by G. Jefferies, photographer for the Bradenton Herald newspaper.  You can see from the dark coloring of the pilings where they were previously buried in the sand. That's a helluva lot of sand to lose!

The beaches were recently renourished at the cost of millions of dollars. Now the state is broke so I don't know where the money will come from to redo the them again. I'm sure the island tourist trade is worried about what this will do to their businesses. It's just been in the last couple of years that tourism has picked back up after a serious slump. Just like the farmers of the Midwest, the island tourism trade is at the mercy of Mother Nature. But suc is life... on a positive note there was plenty of open parking spots at the beach, an abundance of amazing shells scattered on the beach, and we are finally out of drought mode.

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