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Tag Archives: beach

A Marco man’s high adventure

The Day Before the Race. SUBMITTED photoS

By John Scott The sheer excitement of sliding down the backside of six feet of following sea in a small but well crafted open sailboat for the first time was an exhilarating awakening to the powerful forces of nature. We methodically rose on a wave’s front side, reached its crest and accelerated, only to skate into its trough. We would slow and repeat the cycle over and over. Watching the froth bubbling, smelling the fresh salt air, hearing the wind gusts fill our sails and feeling the constant rhythm of motion glued a grin on my face and an adrenalin ... Read More »

Elementary Engineering

Former TBE student and chemical engineer Jeff Compton watches as a group of students engineer their oil clean-up solution. PHOTOS BY DR. JORY WESTBERRY

By Noelle H. Lowery It has been said that play is the purest form of research, and the fourth-grade students in Gail Dunphy’s class at Tommie Barfield Elementary School have put this statement to the test. Since November, TBE’s entire fourth-grade team has been engaged in a classroom science project that combines engineering and technology to challenge students to devise a solution to clean up an oil spill. The project is part of the STEM — Science Technology Engineering and Math — program at TBE, and was developed by the Museum of Science-Boston through its National Center for Technological ... Read More »

Positive Interactions with Wildlife

Burrowing owls set up shop in their new home. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie To balance out the alarming and sad stories of wildlife that have occurred recently in and around Marco Island — the pilot whale tragedy along the southwest coast of Florida, ultimately ending just south of Marco Island on Kice Island with 25 dead whales; the news of the Marco Eagle Sanctuary bald eagle pair nesting interrupted; and the shooting of a wild boar on Marco Island’s beach — a few positive wildlife interactions with people on Marco Island have occurred and need to be noted. It is safe to say that one of the ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor: 2014 Independent Survey for Marco Island Voters


My name is Joe Rola. I have absolutely NO business interest on Marco except to enjoy my home and environs. I, like you, fell in love with Marco’s beach and residential charm. I am a Marco Island citizen with limited resources trying to get the word out. Issues coming before the Planning Board and eventually Council will impact the “small tropical town character” of this island. An immediate issue of concern is the Marriott Resort/Mass Mutual request for an amendment to the Marco Island Resort Planned Unit Development (PUD), on Collier Boulevard to expand beyond the agreement of 2001. Other similar issues ... Read More »

2014 Christmas Bird Count


PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie Each winter, the National Audubon Society holds their annual nationwide Christmas Bird Count. This is 114th year that thousands of volunteers armed with binoculars, field guides and bird lists from all over the country get out in their neighborhoods, local parks and natural areas to document each and every bird they see and hear in about eight hours. It is “citizen science” at its best, giving an overall assessment — good or bad — of bird populations that enhance biologists’ studies of bird populations, migration routes and the health of our world’s ecosystems. This count ... Read More »

Pilot Whales Lost

By Natalie Strom Southwest Florida has seen of a number of beach strandings by short-finned pilot whales during the months of December 2013 and January 2014. From Lee County to the Everglades, an estimated 55 pilot whales perished due to these events. A somewhat rare event, beach strandings by marine mammals take place all over the world for reasons which are usually unknown. Yet, these pilot whales make for an interesting case as so many have landed on our shores as of late. Pilot whales are the second largest member of the dolphin group, just behind orca whales. They ... Read More »

Success! A Clean Beach

Al Benarroch with a couple dozen of his employees and their families in neon yellow t-shirts. PHOTOS BY NANCY RICHIE

By Nancy J. Richie City of Marco Island Environmental Specialist That Florida fabulous winter weather is finally here! It brought out a large crowd to clean the beach on Saturday, Jan. 11. The monthly city of Marco Island Beach Advisory Committee beach clean up could not have been scheduled on a more perfect morning. City of Marco Island Beach Advisory Committee Member Ralph Barnhart manages the monthly beach clean ups, and was onsite at 8 AM at South Beach access with bottled water, gloves and bags donated by Publix for all volunteers. Shortly after 8 AM, fellow Beach Advisory Committee ... Read More »

Taking a Turn with Gulls and Terns


PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie As you walk along the beach, you may think you are just seeing and hearing lots of “seagulls” on the Marco Island beach, but there are many diverse and unique species of gull-like birds on the beach. Take a closer look, and you may be surprised by the diversity of bird species using the beach to rest, feed and even nest. Gulls, commonly known as “seagulls” (though many nest and breed inland), are a common beach bird on the Marco Island beach that we are all familiar with both visually and by sound. Gulls have ... Read More »

The Star of the Everglades Its Journey From the 1920s to Today

The historical Lopez home located on the Lopez River. Jim Webb recalls that at the end of mullet season there were always big parties held here; the home no longer exists. Photo by Alvin Lederer

COASTAL HISTORY Craig Woodward Mention the vessel Star of the Everglades to local, long-time residents, and it brings a big smile to their faces. Soon, they are flooded with memories of this fabulous boat which was aptly named the Star. Not only was the Star a luxury cruise boat for its day, but it also opened up the Ten Thousand Islands to world-class fishing. Digging into the vessel’s history, one quickly hears stories. Its first owner made money in the bird feather, or plume, trade in the late 1800s. The boat’s builder was extremely wealthy, becoming famous by running whiskey ... Read More »

Weather Wreaks Havoc on Wildlife

By Natalie Strom The week of November 25 through December 1 was a strange week on the beach for many of the city’s volunteer beach stewards. A recent storm front and some odd activities led to an unusually large amount of marine mammal life to be washed ashore on Marco’s beaches. First up, octopi. In one day, a beach steward found eight stranded on the shore as he monitored the beach. Another one was found on Sand Dollar Beach in the same week. Of the nine, six were still alive and were able to be returned to the water. ... Read More »

Marco Island’s Woman’s Club Cleans Beach

By Nancy Richie Despite an overcast, breezy November day, the Marco Island Woman’s Club turned out in large numbers to clean the Marco Island beach on Saturday, November 16. City of Marco Island Beach Advisory Committee chairperson and President of the Marco Island Woman’s Club, Debbie Roddy, led the group, in their matching custom t-shirts, to collect twenty bags of debris and trash between South Beach and Tigertail Beach Park. Many found the beach to be very clean with no large pieces of trash, but did find plastic wrappers, bottle caps, cigarette butts, as well as over 100 plastic straws, ... Read More »

There’s Something in the Water

The white marker indicates a “Very Low” presence of red tide while the green markers indicate there is less that 1,000 cells per liter. The small amount indicates red tide is “Not Present.”

By Natalie Strom Marco Island’s waters and beaches have seen a recent invasion by a number of algae species. Some bad, the others just fine. Sightings and monitored reports by FWC have found red drift alga, graceful red weed, Alexandrium monilatum and red tide to be present along Marco’s coastline as well as within Marco’s canals. Nancy Richie, Marco Island’s Environmental Specialist, along with her award-winning crew of volunteer beach stewards, have noted that both red drift and graceful redweed have washed up on Marco’s beaches. Richie noted that often storms or passing fronts from the Gulf can wash ... Read More »

City Council to BCC: Don’t combine TDC, CAC


By Noelle H. Lowery The Marco Island City Council is concerned about the city’s level of influence at the county level. The reason: It has been suggested that the Collier Board of County Commissioners may combine its Tourist Development Council and Coastal Advisory Commission into one entity with the hope that it will curb an overgrowth of county-based advisory boards and committees. City Councilors believe this move would spell disaster for Marco Island’s representation and clout when it comes to county decisions on beaches in the area. “My issue here is it reinforces that the City of Marco Island ... Read More »

Sweeping the Beach into the Fall


By Nancy Richie A sunny, somewhat cool (relatively speaking for Floridians) Saturday morning in mid-October on Marco Island’s beach could not have been more perfect for a fall beach “sweep.” With clouds on the Gulf horizon, the fall sun, now slanted south of the equator moving toward the winter solstice, shed soft light across the beach. Another magical morning on Marco Island’s beach! The City of Marco Island’s Beach Advisory Committee’s monthly beach clean-up partnership with the community brought out 45 volunteers of Marco Island Civic Association (MICA) members to the beach to “sweep” it clean. Diane Hoover, the Beach ... Read More »

50 Years: The Pair from Paradise

By Val Simon Eddie and Marianne Valvano have been married since 1963. The couple just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. In Point Pleasant, NJ, Eddie was swimming, using a diving board at a neighbor’s house, when he spotted a girl walking down the street. Eddie asked his neighbor, “Who is that girl?” His neighbor replied, “My friend, Marianne.” At 16 years old Eddie felt in his heart he would marry her one day. Marianne recollects, “We thought Eddie was conceited. He had this boat, we all had boats, but his was a big motor boat and all we had were ... Read More »

Congratulations Beach Stewards

By Coastal Breeze News Staff The volunteer Beach Steward program, which began in 2012 under the guidance of Environmental Specialist Nancy Richie, has received quite an acknowledgment from the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association. The objective of the Association, according to its website, “is to encourage planning that will contribute to public well-being by developing communities and environments that meet the needs of people and of society more effectively.” Keeping in mind physical, economic and social planning activities, the APA gives out awards every year based on these ideals. The 2013 APA Florida Project Awards granted Marco’s Beach ... Read More »

The Myth of the “Black Panther”


PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie Over the years, there have been reports from hotel concierges, tourists and even some “old timers” of first-person accounts of “black panthers” lurking around the Marco Island beach dunes during the day. One tourist wrote a two-page letter in outrage that there was a “black panther” just a few feet away from children playing in the sand at the Hilton beach. Recently, a few true believers swear there was a “black panther” out on Sand Dollar “spit.” One of the best arguments heard is the “panther crossing” sign shows the outline of a panther in ... Read More »

TBE teacher is home again

By Noelle H. Lowery Lauren Burgin tried leaving Marco Island and Florida behind, but the sunshine — and Tommie Barfield Elementary School — brought her back. Her family moved to Marco Island when she was two years old. She went to TBE, Marco Island Charter Middle School and Lely High School. In fact, her parents, Tom and Nancy Mitchusson, still live on the island, and her brother, Kyle Mitchusson, is in his first year at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. “I very much enjoyed growing up on the island,” says TBE’s newest first grade teacher. “Spending weekends on ... Read More »

Moore Family Makes Special Visit to Marco Marriott


By Jane A. Marlowe The Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort hosted the Moore Family of Simsbury, Ct. for a week in August. The Marriott learned about Kevin Moore’s wish to vacation on the beach from Make A Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to people who have suffered grave illness. Kevin was discharged recently from the Middletown Children’s Hospital in Middletown, Ct. after a lengthy two-year hospitalization. As a young teenager he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has undergone multiple surgeries, implantation of stents in his brain, and serious post operative complications. Kevin has received long term therapy to ... Read More »

Woody’s Best Blue Jasmine


REEL REVIEWS By Monte Lazarus From the moment we first see Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) we’re entranced, even though she’s talking to herself and her neighbor on a flight from New York to San Francisco. Jasmine is dressed to the nines in Chanel and a huge Hermes purse. That’s all accompanied by monogrammed Louis Vuitton luggage awaiting her on the carousel. What follows are flashes backward and forward as it becomes clear that Jasmine has left the Manhattan high-life destitute and is moving to San Francisco to live (temporarily?) with her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins). If all this hints of ... Read More »