There was lots of good news for beachgoers celebrating Labor Day on Anna Maria Island. The impact to the shoreline of the island’s beaches, though already depleted from June’s Tropical Storm Colin, were not that heavily impacted by Hurricane Hermine.
The sun was high and bright on Monday, a welcome relief to the days of clouds and rain that Hermine shrouded the Gulf Coast in for days prior. Small children galloped along the Gulf of Mexico’s small waves, seagulls chirped for treats and bodies of all size, shape and colors glistened with tropical sweat as they soaked in the long absent sun.
Anna Maria Island was the destination for many and for others like Judy and Ken Spencer, it may have been a second choice for a Labor Day getaway, but it proved to be the right choice.
We started our day at Lido Beach. We were only there for a couple of hours because you still couldn’t get in the water from all the bacteria.
Judy Spencer, visiting Anna Maria Island on Labor Day
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“We started our day at Lido Beach,” said Lithia resident Judy Spencer. “We were only there for a couple of hours because you still couldn’t get in the water from all the bacteria. So we drove up here and it’s heaven. We come to the beaches every weekend and honestly, Coquina doesn’t look any different from before the storm.”
Ken Spencer said Lido Beach was littered with seaweed, shells “and you could literally see the bacteria floating on the water. It’s nice to be on Anna Maria Island. It’s just as beautiful as ever.”
The other good news for beachgoers is that Labor Day crowds proved to be lighter than normal, though thousands still flocked to open sections of the beach throughout the day.
Mark Eliopulos and his wife Marla are frequent visitors to the island and were pleased to see how little the hurricane had impacted the beaches.
You always take a chance coming to the beach on a holiday, but this was a great chance to take.
Marla Eliopulos, visiting Anna Maria Island for Labor Day
“There really isn’t a lot of change, which is wonderful,” said Marla Eliopulous. “And it seems the crowds are a bit lighter and we were just wondering why that might be.”
Mark Eliopulous said it was likely due to the recent storm and an iffy weather forecast for the day, even though the sun couldn’t have been shining any brighter, or hotter, than any typical Florida summer day. But Labor Day is a favorite for the Bradenton couple.
“It’s our favorite weekend,” said Marla Eliopulos. “The kids are back in school and the snowbirds are going home, so this is one of our favorite times of the year to come to the beach. You always take a chance coming to the beach on a holiday, but this was a great chance to take.”