“Friendly Neighbors” Takes on New Meaning on the Manatee River

by Islands

Neighbors at The Islands on Manatee RiverThe Manatee River is a lush and peaceful waterway located near Sarasota and Bradenton on Florida’s west coast.  In this pristine natural environment, many new homeowners are getting to know the locals up close and personal.  The Manatee River is teeming with many diverse forms of wildlife and it successfully sustains a delicate balance between human and wildlife populations. It’s an enviable setting, perfect for nature watching above and below the surface. Here are five fascinating neighbors residents enjoy at The Islands, a coastal community along the river where nearly every home has access and a boat dock on the river:


Well known and beloved for their gentle nature, manatees are the official Florida marine animal.  An aquatic relative of the elephant, manatees can be found in shallow, warm Florida waters year round. They are very friendly and photogenic!  Playful encounters are a daily occurrence with these gentle giants known to visit the private docks to say “hello!”

Bald Eagles

Native only to North America, our national bird’s largest nesting population lives right here in Florida.  Its famous, distinctive coloring makes it easy to detect, even from a distance. Because bald eagles prefer to nest near water for easy feeding, residents of The Islands have a great opportunity to watch these majestic birds in action.


The Snook is a large, silvery-green fish with a protruding lower jaw, yellow fins, and a prominent black stripe along its back. No longer a threatened population, Snook fish have become very popular with recreational anglers.  Their strong, fighting spirit makes them a thrilling catch, and they can often be seen under the dock light in the evening. Quite magnificent.

Harvard Crew Team

Rowers from Harvard University climb into their sculls and train on the Manatee River.The Fort Hamer Park, on the north bank of the river, features an 8,000-square-foot boathouse, floating docks, a deck area and restrooms in a wooden gazebo. The men and women’s Harvard teams can be seen practicing for sprint races and long distance from January to March.

Happy Humans

Everyday is paradise when local homeowners are surrounded by the natural Florida flora and fauna of the Manatee River. With a true appreciation for the uniqueness of the area, homeowners demonstrate a healthy respect for their surroundings.  A rarity in most parts of the country, residents of The Islands enjoy the enviable position of having their boat in their back yard and many choose to launch their kayak to simply witness a colorful sunset from the beautiful Gulf Coast waterfront. For those who never imagined a place like this still existed, The Islands may be calling you home.

To preview the Neighborhood Plan for the Islands and learn more about their waterfront lifestyle, click here.

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