Category Archives: Featured

SBEP News & Events

SBEP Meeting Schedule

Scheduled meetings of the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, its boards, and its committees through 2017. Meetings of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) are held at the Dan McClure Auditorium, 5900 Airport Auditorium Lane, Sarasota, FL 34243 unless otherwise noted (map). Locations of Policy and Management Board meetings will be updated…

2017 Bay Partners Grants Applications Due March 3

SBEP funds environmental education and habitat restoration projects to improve the quality of Sarasota Bay. Application materials for this year’s Bay Partners Grants are now available on our website. Businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, academic institutions, government agencies, civic associations, religious organizations, and neighborhood/homeowners’ associations located in Sarasota and Manatee counties with projects that will benefit…

Manatee County Parks & Natural Resources Department’s Annual Photography Challenge!

Manatee County’s preserves offer visitors many wonderful opportunities to capture spectacular photographs and we would like to showcase these images during our annual Photography Challenge. Anyone that is interested in sharing their photos may submit up to ten (10) digitized entries for consideration in the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department’s 3rd annual Photography…

Softening Shorelines at Bayfront Park

Did you know that over 80% of Sarasota Bay’s shorelines are hardened? Seawalls make living close to and enjoying the Bay easy and convenient. However, they have unintended consequences for wildlife and storm resilience because they eliminate the habitat and buffering functions of natural, vegetated shorelines. Softening some of Sarasota Bay’s more protected shorelines by…

Working Toward a Climate-Ready Estuary

SBEP’s Climate Vulnerability Assessment The SBEP is working to understand how climate change could affect future watershed management by identifying potential risks to our goals of conserving water quality and habitat in the Sarasota Bay watershed. Within the vast scope of climate change impacts, we will specifically consider four stressors likely to occur in the…

Project Solicitation for Southwest Florida Regional Ecosystem Restoration Plan

The SBEP is soliciting proposals for restoration projects in the Sarasota Bay watershed to update the Southwest Florida Regional Ecosystem Restoration Plan. Eligible projects include those proposed by local and state governments, NGOs, and academic institutions within the geographic areas of Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Please forward this announcement and documents linked below to any eligible…

SBEP to Deploy New Artificial Reef Habitat Modules in Sarasota Bay

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) will deploy new reef modules on three existing artificial reefs in Sarasota Bay during the week of September 12, 2016. The three reefs, Bayshore North, Bayshore South and White Key, are managed by Manatee County Natural Resources. Reef Innovations of Sarasota constructed the reef modules and will oversee their…

SBEP Policy Board Meeting | September 16, 2016

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program’s Policy Board will meet at 1:00 pm on September 16, 2016. The meeting will be held in the 9th floor conference room of the Manatee County Administration Center, 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205. The meeting agenda may be downloaded here. This meeting is open to the public.

SBEP awarded $288,000 for tidal creek study

… The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program was recently awarded a second Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 Wetland Program Development Grant to continue their work on southwest Florida tidal creeks. Dr. Jay Leverone, SBEP staff scientist, will be leading this collaborative effort, which includes both Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor Estuary Programs as well as…

SBEP Management Board Meeting | August 26, 2016

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program’s Management Board will meet at 9:00 am on August 26, 2016. The meeting will be held at the Manatee County Administration Center, 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34243. The meeting agenda may be downloaded here (Microsoft Word document). This meeting is open to the public.

Volunteer Reports: Bay Guardians Oyster Bagging, Invasive Plants Removal

Volunteer Reports January 2016 Bay Guardians Oyster Bagging with TBEP and Manatee County, Invasive Plants Removal at North Water Tower Park The SBEP Bay Guardians volunteers have been busy! At our last two events, we bagged fossilized shells to restore oyster reefs at Robinson Preserve and removed invasive vegetation to improve habitat at North Water Tower…

Science at SBEP: F.I.S.H. Preserve Restored!

Science at SBEP F.I.S.H. Preserve Habitat Restored! The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program recently completed the restoration of nearly half of the Preserve through a cooperative funding agreement with SWFWMD and the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage, F.I.S.H. Restoration implemented by contracting firm Earthbalance resulted in more wetland acreage, improved tidal circulation, and the reestablishment of natural…

SBEP Partners with Sarasota and Manatee Counties in hosting “Alternative Break” Pilot!

Abigail Goecker is not your stereotypical college student. With an impressive professionalism and  laudable determination, Ms. Goecker, a college junior at Winter Park’s Rollins College (originally from Sarasota), contacted SBEP looking for a way to help late last year. She was responsible for coordinating an “Alternative Break” immersion trip to the Sarasota area for a…

Partner Projects: Sarasota County’s Low-Impact Development

Partner Projects Sarasota County: Low-Impact Development Sarasota County is leading the progress of two Low Impact Development (LID) projects in the North Tamiami Trail area of Sarasota. Low Impact Development is an environmentally sensitive approach to developing land and managing stormwater runoff through better integration of the built environment with the natural environment. Sarasota County…

Partner Projects: Manatee County’s Rye Preserve Opening

Partner Projects Manatee County: Rye Preserve Opening Manatee County’s Parks and Natural Resources Department is excited to announce the grand opening or the Rye Preserve Nature Center. This new East County resource celebrated its grand opening on Saturday January 9th with a family-friendly day of activities and special guests. Visitors received tours of the new…

About the Bay: Blue Carbon

January 2016 Blue Carbon: an added value to coastal habitat restoration By Darcy Young Coastal ecosystems are precious for many reasons: they provide habitat for a diverse array of life, support local economies through fisheries and tourism, and are intrinsically beautiful. However, their contributions to mitigating climate change are largely overlooked. In the first chapter…

Partner Projects: City of Sarasota’s Living Seawall

Partner Projects January 2016 The City of Sarasota is working on a proposal to construct a Living Seawall at Bayfront Park, in front of a conventional seawall planned for the shoreline area in front of O’Leary’s Pub. The project idea was inspired by a Gulf Coast Innovation Challenge grant originally submitted by Selby Gardens, Sarasota…

Partner Projects: City of Sarasota’s Climate Adaptation Funding

Partner Projects January 2016 The City of Sarasota allocated $125K of funding obtained through its Deepwater Horizon local claim settlement funds for a climate adaptation planning process. The City’s Sustainability Manager, Stevie Freeman-Montes, hopes to leverage this funding toward a comprehensive project that includes identifying climate change impacts to the City of Sarasota, analyzing these…

Science at SBEP: SBEP Updates its Five-Year Habitat Restoration Plan

Science at SBEP SBEP Updates its Five-Year Habitat Restoration Plan The SBEP has updated the Program’s five-year habitat restoration plan, which prioritizes more than 20 sites throughout the Sarasota Bay watershed. The SBEP and its Wetlands Coordinator Scheda Ecological Associates evaluated potential restoration sites by examining various logistical and ecological factors, including proximity of the…

Sarasota Bay Seagrass Success in 2014!

Sarasota Bay now has more seagrass on the bottom of the seafloor than ever before – a record 13,288 acres of this lush green habitat. The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) program recently released the results from their 2014 survey and report an increase of 701 acres – nearly 6%…