ANNA MARIA – Manatee County has been busy cleaning up the dead fish left by the current outbreak of red tide and the committee that is charged with bringing in tourism wants to make sure the county doesn’t run out of resources.
Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker gave a presentation Monday at the Manatee County Tourist Development Council (TDC) on how the county is handling the situation.
“Each day we clean the public parts of the beaches,” he said. “When the red tide came, we extended it to all the beaches.”
“When the dead fish came, it was a public health hazard and we went to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for advice and we took the dead fish to the county landfill,” he said. “We got the fish out of the water.”
Hunsicker said you won’t find that in any of the other counties that have been hit by red tide, including Sarasota.
“We follow a policy of recover, restore and rejuvenate,” he said.
Newly appointed TDC member Eric Cairns, who owns Cedar Cove, a beachfront resort, praised the county for its rapid response to the problem.
“I see it every day,” he said of the cleanup effort.
Elliott Falcione, Executive Director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, suggested the TDC vote to set aside up to $500,000 to continue the cleanup efforts and got a positive vote. He said he would write up a proposal to take to the Manatee County Board of Commissioners for approval at a September or October meeting.