Dear Residents and Visitors,
This last Monday was Earth Day Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22 during which events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970 and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.
The 2019 Earth Day Campaign is "Protect our Species". In keeping with that theme, we have included information below on some of the "species" that we share our beach with.
See other important messages below.
Mayor Patrick C. Soranno
The beaches of Pinellas County attract millions of visitors every year and are enjoyed by residents of the entire Tampa Bay area. Not only do the beaches support tourism and the general economy of the area, they help protect the barrier islands and the property on which homes, schools, and businesses thrive. Beaches play a vital role in the marine environment, with sea turtles, nesting birds, and other wildlife dependent on the beach for survival.
Below is information about some important beach life issues we have been hearing about this season.
"Beach Wrack" refers to the piles of seagrasses, reeds and marine algae that wash ashore and are found in the tide line, especially after storms. These marine castaways foster protective dunes and allow assembly of a unique natural community that brings life to the beach. Beach wrack is important to our shorelines for a number of reasons.
After landing on dry land, beach wrack becomes host to a diverse cast of insects and other tiny invertebrate animals. The tiny animals, in turn, serve as food for many other creatures.
Migrating shorebirds fly thousands of miles each year to munch on the nutritious meals found in that clump of seaweed. Wrack also provides a safe haven for many animals that escape predators by hiding under it or by blending in with it. A shorebird can “disappear” while napping among the similarly colored shades of seaweed browns and grays.
Beach wrack also is critical to the health of the dunes by providing plant nutrients and stabilizing windblown sand. The wrack carries seeds from many dune plants, such as beach morning glory and sea rocket. As sand builds up and the seeds within the beach wrack take root, new dunes grow.
On some beaches, the sand is machine-raked, new dunes are manicured away and the wrack is removed. These efforts cost taxpayers, but there is a price paid by the beach system as well. A natural wrack line is a key component of a healthy beach ecosystem.
More information can be found on our website by clicking here.
Several species of shorebirds and seabirds nest along the beaches of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. Habitat loss and degradation associated with coastal development has largely restricted many of these species to stretches of beach within parks and preserves. This group of birds is particularly sensitive to human disturbance since environmental conditions on beaches are already harsh and unpredictable.
For example, one dog passing near a colony of nesting seabirds can cause all the birds to panic and subsequently leave their nests dangerously exposed to the hot boiling sun.
How you can help protect beach-nesting birds:
- Never enter areas posted with shorebird/seabird signs.
- Avoid driving on or beyond the upper beach.
- Drive slow enough to avoid running over chicks.
- Keep dogs on a leash and away from areas where birds may be nesting.
- Keep cats indoors, and do not feed stray cats.
- Properly dispose of trash to keep predators away.
- Do not fly kites near areas where birds may be nesting.
- When birds are aggravated, you are too close
Shorebird nesting season runs from February through August. Indian Shores is home to several imperiled species of shore birds. Many of these species nest directly on the beach and their nests can be difficult to detect.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and and the Audubon Society mark these nests to help preserve the species as their natural environment becomes threatened.
Other Environmental topics will be highlighted in upcoming Mayor's Messages. More information can be found on "Our Environmental" webpage.
Sunday Morning Market
Laura Garrison, The Beach Markets
The last Sunday Morning Market is this Sunday, April 28, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Come join in the shopping and book sale one last time this season.
It's been a pleasure having the market on Sundays in Indian Shores. We take a hiatus for the hot summer months but look forward to seeing you all in October when the Sunday Morning Market returns.
Indian Shores Library
Alice Lawrence, President
The Library is holding a book sale at this Sunday's Morning Market from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Come and see the great selection of books for sale!
Read & Feed
The next Read & Feed is scheduled for May 1 at 6:00 p.m. The featured book is Maeve Binchy's Evening Class. Reception and discussion are free. Dinner with Irish/Italian gusto is $8. Sign up for dinner by April 29 in the Library.
Normal Library Hours of Operation
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
The Indian Shores Library is an all-volunteer organization. Please see the Library webpage for more information.
Indian Shores Property Owners Association (ISPOA)
Art Newsome, President
Indian Shores shirts make great souvenirs! The Indian Shores Property Owners Association is selling Indian Shores t-shirts with the Town logo. See the ISPOA webpage for details.
If you have any questions or want to join the Indian Shores Property Owners Association, you can get more information at the ISPOA webpage.