Late last week, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring director Suzi Fox reported that rare black skimmers had begun nesting on the beach just west of Cortez Road and Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach.
Fox, along with Manatee County Director of Natural Resources Charlie Hunsicker sent the word out, which was received by Ed Chiles, owner of the Chiles Restaurant Group which includes the Beach House restaurant, about a quarter-mile from the nesting site.
Chiles, on Monday, canceled the restaurant’s July 3 fireworks show for the second year in a row, but for only the second time in 22 years. Chiles said the decision to cancel the Beach House show is to ensure the the safety of Anna Maria Island’s wildlife.
“We simply do not want to take any chances on doing anything that would harm these rare nesting birds,” said Chiles.
Chiles said his support of environmental protection practices is a mainstay of his business, pointing to his work as managing partner of the Pine Avenue Restoration Project, a nationally recognized “Greenest Little Main Street in America.”
Beach House general manager Dave Gallagher said the restaurant puts its environmental concerns first and foremost.
“Living and working in this environment makes it important to be good stewards of that environment,” said Gallagher. “It’s important to us to make sure we work in cooperation with those agencies responsible for the protection of our local wildlife.”
“Last year’s cancellation was the first time in 22 years we have not held the Beach House fireworks event,” said Chiles. “The 30-year tradition of the Sandbar Fireworks Spectacular will continue this year on July 4 and we look forward to seeing everyone there. We wish everyone a safe and happy July 4.”