30 Years of Progress
The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program is dedicated to restoring our area’s greatest and most important natural asset – Sarasota Bay.
The program strives to improve water quality, increase habitat and enhance the natural resources of the area for the use and enjoyment by the public. The health of Sarasota Bay has seen significant gains since it was named an estuary of national significance by the U.S. Congress in 1989.
SBEP began in June 1989 when Sarasota Bay was designated an “estuary of national significance ” by the U.S. Congress as part of the Water Quality Act of 1987. SBEP is one of 28 National Estuary Programs in the United States. The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program is a member of the Association of National Estuary Programs.
SBEP was initially tasked with characterizing the environmental conditions of Sarasota Bay and formulating a comprehensive restoration and protection plan based upon this analysis. The resulting plan was the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP). The CCMP recommends specific actions to be taken by local governments as well as state and federal agencies to restore and protect Sarasota Bay. The CCMP was formally approved by the Governor of Florida and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1995.
In September 2017, SBEP joined over 200 businesses in Sarasota County committed to sustainable practices. The County offers a Green Business Partnership Program to certify organizations that are improving their general operations, solid waste management, recycling, and energy and water consumption. Some of the efforts implemented at our office include: recycling, composting, walking/biking to work, carpooling to meetings, bringing reusable cups, dishware, and bags, reducing printed materials, and turning lights off and machines when not in use.
As an organization whose mission is centered around environmental stewardship, we believe it's important to integrate those values into what we do every day.