During the past 50 years, human activities have caused a slow and steady decline in the general health of Sarasota Bay. With the founding of SBEP in 1989, a partnership among local governments and other agencies was formed to reverse that trend. Since then, SBEP has focused on these seven goals with the continuous support of its major partners:
- Improve water transparency.
- Reduce the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff to the Bay.
- Restore lost seagrasses and shoreline Habitats, and eliminate further losses.
- Establish an appropriate management structure for Sarasota Bay.
- Provide increased levels of managed access to Sarasota Bay and its resources.
- Restore and sustain fish and other living resources in Sarasota Bay.
- Improve beach, inlet and channel management.
Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP)
Each of the 28 National Estuary Programs was charged with developing and implementing a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), which establishes priorities for activities, research, and funding for the estuary. The CCMP serves as a blueprint to guide future decisions and actions and addresses a wide range of environmental protection issues including water quality, habitat, fish and wildlife, pathogens, land use, and introduced species. The CCMP is based on a scientific characterization of the estuary and is developed and approved by a diverse coalition of community stakeholders.
In support of the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), SBEP works with partners within the scientific community to conduct research to help fill gaps in our knowledge and to answer questions regarding the health and vitality of Sarasota Bay.