Beach House Cancels Annual Fireworks Event to Protect Birds
BRADENTON BEACH, FLORIDA (June 4, 2015) – What would have been the 22nd Annual Beach House Fireworks Spectacular, one of the largest and most anticipated annual Independence weekend celebrations on Florida’s west coast (originally scheduled to be held on July 3), has been cancelled. The announcement comes after careful consideration for the well-being of a population of black skimmers and lesser terns, rare species of migrating shore birds known to be nesting on north end of the Beach House property.
The decision to cancel the show, which has served as an annual tradition for thousands of locals and visitors in the community for decades, was announced today by Chiles Restaurant Group Owner Ed Chiles.
According to Chiles, the restaurant management and staff have been working with the Turtle Watch group to assist in protecting the group of birds since their nests were discovered. The staff has been doing its best to keep customers and beach-goers at a safe distance while the local Turtle Watch group monitors the birds’ well-being. Cancelling the fireworks show was the next step in ensuring they continue to thrive.
After consulting with Bradenton Beach Mayor Jack Clark, Manatee County Environmental Lands Coordinator Charlie Hunsicker and Susie Fox, the Director of the local Turtle Watch organization, as well as his Beach House management staff, Chiles said, “We decided that the risk of disturbing the terns and skimmers or, worse, uprooting them from their nests was one we were not willing to take. We know that our Independence Day fireworks celebrations have been popular among members of our community for over twenty years but the wellbeing of these rare and endangered shore birds needs to come first.”
The decision to cancel the popular fireworks show to ensure the safety of Anna Maria Island’s wildlife should come as no surprise to those who know Chiles and the vision he has for his group of restaurants, which also includes the Sandbar Restaurant in Anna Maria and Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant in Longboat Key.
Chiles is a well-known as an outspoken advocate for environmental protection and has built his business around sustainable and environmentally friendly policies. He is the managing partner of the Pine Avenue Restoration project which has received worldwide attention for its environmentally progressive features and has become known as the “Greenest little Main Street in America.” In addition, Chiles also operates the nearby Gamble Creek Farm which produces hydroponic fruits and organic vegetables that are served at his restaurant. Chiles is also heavily involved in promoting the areas heritage seafood resources like mullet, in a sustainable way. He joined local resident Seth Cripe to start the Anna Maria Seafood Company to provide a model for capturing the economic value of our area’s largest seafood resource, the roe of the grey striped mullet. He is passionate about the prospect of using this model to further transform the business model in Cortez from a commodity based one to a value added model in order to provide more jobs and better wages for those who work in this most important heritage sector of our local economy.
Chiles’ schedule last week further illustrates his company’s commitment to promoting heritage resources in a sustainable way. On Monday, June 7, he joined the Pew Charitable Trust in sponsoring The Florida Forage Fish Coalition kickoff and dinner where Chiles gave the opening remarks and his culinary team served a variety of local sustainable seafood delicacies including mullet, sunray venus clams, bottarga and cobia. On Tuesday, June 8, Chiles and his team served another sustainable seafood spread (along with local wild boar) to 100 people at the Headquarters of Tampa Bay Watch in Tierra Verde at a World Ocean Day event which Chiles sponsored and at which he gave one of the evening’s presentations on his sustainable seafood and farming projects. The next morning Chiles and his culinary team flew to Washington D.C. where they represented Florida along with many of the country’s other major seafood producers like Alaska, California, Washington State, and Louisiana at the 38th Annual NOAA Fish Fry, as part of the Capitol Hill Oceans Week sponsored by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. There the Chiles Group chefs fed 1,400 people a menu of smoked sturgeon and caviar from the Healthy Earth / Mote Marine Laboratory’s sustainable sturgeon farming project along with bottarga and lion fish. While there Chiles also met with congressional staffers as well as the head of the Sustainable Fisheries Department under NOAA regarding the heritage seafood projects that he is working on with partners like Healthy Earth and Mote Marine.
“I realize that many people will be disappointed that the annual Beach House fireworks show has been cancelled and that, for many, it is a family tradition. But, I also know that we are making the right decision,” added Chiles. “We wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July and hope to see our loyal customers back at Beach House this summer.”
The Beach House will remain open for dinner on July 3.
About The Chiles Group of Restaurants
The Chiles Group of Restaurants, consisting of Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista Dockside, offers toes in the sand, waterfront dining, serving farm to fork, gulf to table and pasture to plate locally sourced and sustainable menu items in spectacular settings with uncompromised customer service. The Sandbar and Beach House offer unique venues for events and weddings. With customized menu items, exceptional planners and breathtaking views, these venues are ideal for any occasion. For more information on The Chiles Group Restaurant call (941) 778-8705.
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