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Skyway pier demolition to benefit Manatee's Three Mile North Reef

Skyway pier demolition to benefit Manatee's Three Mile North Reef

Manatee County, Florida – Crews working to demolish portions of the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier will deliver and submerge 70,000 tons of artificial reef material off the Anna Maria Island coast early as Monday, July 18. Boaters and fishermen are advised to avoid the Three Mile North Reef area during construction which could last until February.

The project will significantly upgrade the Three Mile North Reef, a 26-acre artificial reef located three miles west of the northern shores of Anna Maria Island. The work is being done at no cost to the County in conjunction with the Florida Department of Transportation’s $2.2 million project to demolish portions of the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier.

Manatee County Natural Resources officials who helped negotiate the transfer of the materials, said expanding the reef could have significant economic and recreational benefits, in addition to improving the marine environment. A recent University of Florida study on artificial reefs showed that Manatee County's eight near-shore and five offshore artificial reefs return more than $23 million dollars annually to Manatee County in reef-related expenditures.

Beaches battle contamination

Beaches battle contamination

St. Petersburg, Florida -- If you've thought your favorite beaches have been closed more than in past years, a new report shows in 2010, America's beaches had the second-highest number of closing and advisory days in more than two decades.

Scientists with the Natural Resources Defense Council analyzed government data on beachwater testing results from more than 3,000 beaches nationwide and found serious contamination - including oil-- from the disaster in the gulf, and human and animal waste.

While Florida did not make the list of "Superstar Beaches," Taylor County's Keaton Beach did make the 10 worst.

For a link to the full report, click here.

Former Island Branch Manager named new head of Manatee Library Services

Former Island Branch Manager named new head of Manatee Library Services

Manatee County, Florida -- Former Anna Maria Island Library Branch Manager Ava Ehde has been selected as Manatee County Library Services Manager with responsibility for the leadership and operations of the five libraries in the system.

Ehde has been the supervisor at the Anna Maria Island Library since 2003. Prior to coming to Manatee County, she was the Head of Reference and Systems at D'Youville College Library in Buffalo, N.Y.  Ehde earned a bachelor’s degree in History and German and a master’s degree in Information and Library Science from State University of New York at Buffalo where she also served as an adjunct faculty member for four years.  

Manatee County Neighborhood Services Director Cheri Coyea said Ehde was selected for her wide range of experience during an extensive career in libraries. Ehde has been employed by the Manatee County Public Library since 2002 and has been the Island Library branch manager since 2003. 

Bradenton Police enforce curfew checks with Operation Sandman

Bradenton Police enforce curfew checks with Operation Sandman

On June 1, 2011, the Bradenton Police Department in partnership with the Manatee County Office of Juvenile Probation began "Operation Sandman".  Bradenton police began this operation after detectives determined that  juvenile offenders, while on conditional release pending criminal court proceedings, were responsible for crimes being committed in the City of Bradenton.

In an effort to stop criminal activity committed by these juvenile offenders, detectives and patrol officers began conducting nightly curfew checks at the homes of juvenile offenders residing in the City who are on conditional release that requires them to be home during the nighttime hours.

During the first two weeks of the Operation five (5) juveniles were found in violation of curfew (condition of release). These juveniles were subsequently arrested for the violating the terms of their conditional release.

Duette to open first-ever community park

Duette to open first-ever community park

Manatee County, Florida– The children and families of rural Duette will receive their first community park Thursday when Mosaic Fertilizer turns over the new 75-acre Bunker Hill Park to Manatee County Parks and Recreation Department.

The park includes soccer and softball fields, picnic areas, a walking trail and playground.  There is also an ADA-accessible canoe launch and dock for fishing on a 19-acre lake.

Mosaic will hand over the new park and a new 8,785-square-foot fire station to the community during a dedication ceremony Thursday at 4 p.m. at 35800 State Road 62 in Duette. Mosaic donated the land and all construction costs for the fire station and park as part of an agreement with Manatee County stemming from the company’s Altman Tract mine permit, which County Commissioners approved in January 2009. Construction of both sites is estimated to cost $2.5 million. The agreement also includes a $319,000 commitment by Mosaic, to be paid over three years, for operating and maintaining the park.

Lake Manatee monitored after elevation raised

Lake Manatee monitored after elevation raised

Manatee County, Florida – Manatee County Utilities officials are maintaining safe operating levels at Lake Manatee despite heavy rains over the past 48 hours that have raised the lake three feet.
 
The lake is at 40.5 feet, three feet above historical April averages. Some of the excess water – about 400 cubic feet per second – is being discharged over the Lake Manatee dam; however, a project to perform routine inspection, repair and maintenance is preventing officials from releasing a greater volume that would normally be discharged after such a heavy rainfall.

Rec Center honored for green initiatives

Rec Center honored for green initiatives

Bradenton, Florida – Manatee County’s new G.T. Bray Recreation Center recently received honorable mention distinctions at the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s 19th Annual Future of the Region Awards.

Each year the awards luncheon highlights projects and programs that exemplify regionalism, and recognizes outstanding achievement and contribution which benefit the regional community. The new G.T. Bray facility won honorable mention in the Cultural/Sports /Recreation category.

G.T. Bray Park Recreation Center is Manatee’s newest “green” facility, a jewel at the heart of Manatee County’s public parks system. The new facility is one of Manatee County’s first LEED-Certified buildings. The facility has incorporated many construction features that will result in a reduction in operating costs of up to 25 percent when compared to the costs to operate the former administration and recreation buildings.