MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. ( - Passage Key is a popular hotspot for nudists located between Anna Maria Island and Egmont Key. 

For 50 years, the small island has been a federally protected habitat for nesting birds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says there are a number of rare species there ranging from royal terns, to black skimmers, to oystercatchers. 

A spokesman for the FWS says in 2006, the island became completely submerged because of Hurricane Alberto. But in the past few months, the sandbar returned - along with birds, and nudists. 

The island has been popular for nudists recently, with reports of more than 200 nudists on the small island. The FWS claims this is disrupting rare birds and scaring them off. 

A FWS spokesperson says it is a federal crime to walk on the island, saying nudists are allowed to wade in the water off-shore, but are prohibited by law from being on the island.

File Photo Credit 970 WFLA/K. Norman

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