I go on the "Moose Cam" daily (it's a "live feed" from the Moose Lodge on Bradenton Beach). It isn't scientific (in the least!), but it DOES show the beach and the water.
Normally, the beach is packed with people, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, etc. Over the last week, I could count the number of people on one hand. The past 48 hours has had absolutely NO ONE on the beach (a really bad sign!).
You can follow this link: http://www.moose2188.org (click on the grey box on the Home page, and on the next page, click on "Live Cameras" - it will give you the option of "Bridge Street Camera" or "Beach Camera."). The intersection at Bridge St. & Gulf Drive looks like a ghost town too! :-(
There are a few good Facebook pages on which people are walking the island and posting videos of the beaches each day. Anna Maria Island Friends (https:/…) is a very good one, as is Anna Maria Island Vacation Travel Group ~ Florida Rentals by Owners (https:/…). Lots of good info about red tide on both of these pages. You'll need to request to join both groups, but they're pretty quick to respond.
All responses very helpful. Thanks.
We just received an email from Mike Norman Realty:
"Though we have been experiencing some of the effects of the Red Tide bloom on Anna Maria Island, it is dissipating!!!
There are no dead fish on the beach and the water is blue again. If you want to enjoy a vacation with no crowd- now’s the time!"
Well that’s good to know then?! Why is no-where else sharing that information?
My question exactly. That's why I am looking for locals posting video updates. And the webcams will also help.
Follow the daily beaches report by Mote Marine Lab: visistbeaches.org Conditions can change daily with the fish kills and respiratory problems because of the shift in wind direction. It is still very important to follow the actual water sample results. A day or two of no fish kills does not necessarily mean the bloom is dissipating. A shift in wind direction could bring the bloom closer to the shore. This has been a brutal algal bloom affecting marine life, humans and businesses.
I got the same email from Mike Norman yesterday. It completely contradicts videos that were posted on the Facebook pages I linked above, from yesterday morning. It's dishonest. While there may be areas of the island that are not affected at one particular moment, that does not mean the island is free of red tide, dead fish, etc.
I will not be using Mike Norman ever again. Bad business practice . . .
I also received this email from MNR:
If we are experiencing red tide during your stay, please call our office so you may speak directly with the rental department. We will work with you on changing your dates.
As of today there are still some traces, but it has been getting better every day. We are working with guests on a week to week basis.
Please go to our Facebook page and the following links for updates. Thank you!
https:/… LIVE WEB CAMERA
Mike Norman Realty, Inc.
3101 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, FL 34217
(941) 778-6696/ 800-367-1617
"Offering the Largest & Best
Selection of Sales & Vacation Rentals
on Anna Maria Island Since 1978"
*** Please CALL our office with specific questions & requests.
Anyone in the rental department can help you. Thanks! ***
Provided by: Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau