Did Anna Maria Island’s beaches survive Hurricane Ian? ‘Zero loss,’ county says

Good news for beach lovers and sea turtles is that Anna Maria Island's postcard-perfect beaches survived the wrath of Hurricane Ian very unscathed.
The storm's path through southwest Florida was expected to bring extreme wind and surf conditions to the barrier islands of Manatee and Sarasota counties at some point.
Ian's shift south brought major respite for Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, although the islands still sustained significant damage from the storm.
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On Sunday, Manatee County parks officials said the terrain of Ian County's beaches was virtually untouched.
The county government reports that measurements taken at 25 different locations along the coast showed there was "essentially no loss" of sandy beaches, both in width and in depth.
Even sea turtle nests have been preserved, noted Charlie Hunsicker, director of Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources, in a press release.
“During my post-storm inspections, I was thrilled to see these turtle nests still intact. That was a great visual indicator!” said Hunsicker.
Bayfront Park in Anna Maria and Manatee Beach in Holmes Beach have already reopened to the public, while Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach remains closed due to debris.
Other areas more directly in Hurricane Ian's path weren't so lucky. Beaches were destroyed at Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island, near where Ian landed with winds reaching 150 miles per hour. Ian also devastated beach infrastructure in the hardest-hit areas of Southwest Florida. Some bridges, dams, piers and roads were badly damaged.
In Manatee County, beaches are the backbone of a tourism industry that is estimated to generate over $1 billion in 2021.

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