Sarasota Bay with Ringling Bridge

Teacher Resources

SBEP recognizes the important role teachers play in expanding awareness about ecology and environmental issues. The resources noted below can support curriculum development and student projects.

Local Resources

SBEP Science Teacher Training Workshops

Education Resources - Teacher TrainingThe workshops are offered three times a year by Sandra L. Gilchrist, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and director of the Pritzker Marine Sciences Center at New College of Florida in Sarasota. Teachers from all grade levels are encouraged to attend. The focus is on improving teaching skills and providing useful content. Workshops run on Saturdays and provide participants an opportunity to earn continuing education credits. Hand held computers are used in field exercises. The workshops are sponsored by SBEP as part of the PIER Program.


Workshop I: Introduction to Estuaries

Workshop II: Endangered Coasts

Workshop III: Waves and Currents

Please contact Dr. Gilchrist at for more information.

SBEP Coastal Habitats Curriculum

Sarasota Bay Coastal Habitats, a unique curriculum developed in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory and Around the Bend Nature Tours, is divided into two grade levels, Grades K-3 and Grades 4-8. The curriculum provides lesson plans and activities about watersheds, habitats, wildlife, native and non-native plants, stormwater run off and pollution. Each topic has background information, resources, lesson plans, and activities. Lessons correlate with the Sunshine State Standards and National Science Standards.

Tech Kits for the Classroom

Unique Tech Kits are available to bring technology and the outdoors into your classroom. A Tech Kit is a suitcase full of equipment and standards-based classroom activities that focus on various themes. The Tech Kits are available for loan from the SBEP office in downtown Sarasota. Four Tech Kits are currently available:  Scrub Diversity, Orienteering (with GPS and Compass), Estuary Exploration, and Low Impact Development (LID). LID is an opportunity to focus on natural solutions to stormwater runoff pollution following heavy rains. Helpful Video.

Please contact the SBEP office at or (941) 955-8085 if you are interested in learning more about borrowing one of the Tech Kits for your classroom.

Bay Roamer’s Guide                   Bay Roamer-cover

Sarasota Bay Watershed Maps

EdExploreSRQEdExplore SRQ

The EdExplore website provides details about local education programs. Type in Sarasota Bay Estuary Program on the Home page for details about programs focused on wildlife, aquatic life, ecology, and low impact development. The website was created through a partnership between the Sarasota County Schools, the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County and the Science and Environmental Council of Sarasota County with financial support from the Patterson Foundation.

Dip Netting

Watershed Education Resources from SWFWMD

Here are two helpful links from the Southwest Florida Water Management District:

  1. Web Resources provides online educational tools for students and teachers.
  2. Watershed Education provides helpful information about watershed hydrology.

SWFWMD has other guides and student resources about wetlands, water conservation and landscaping.

Mote Marine Laboratory

Mote offers programs for schools, groups, students, and families.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program’s Teacher’s Corner

The Tampa Bay Estuary Program’s website has helpful education resources.

Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program

CHNEP hosts Environmental Education Workshops, Certified Interpretive Guide trainings, and other opportunities for place-based learning.

Other Resources

After the Storm

The EPA and the Weather Channel co-produced After the Storm, a television special about watersheds. Learn about the connection between weather and watersheds. (Links to YouTube)

Alliance for Climate Education

The mission of ACE is to educate high school students on the science behind climate change. They also offer 40 minute ACE Assembly presentations that combine air-tight science with pop-culture entertainment.

Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants

The Atlas provides a searchable database of the more than 4,200 species of vascular plants found in Florida.

Art by Anna Maria Elementary Student - heronAvibase: The World Bird Database

Avibase is an extensive database about birds of the world, containing over 1.4 million records about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies.

Be Floridian Fertilizer Campaign

The Be Floridian education campaign provides information and resources linking the use of fertilizer to Florida waterways.

Census of Marine Life

The website presents the diversity, distribution and abundance of ocean life from a 10-year assessment involving input from 2,700 scientists in more than 80 nations.

Center for Aquatic & Invasive Plants

Database presented by the University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants helps users identify plants and related resources.

Clearing Magazine

A resource for community-based environmental literacy education.

Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network

The website includes principles for educators who are interested in teaching climate change literacy and energy awareness. Content includes peer-reviewed educational resources for middle and high school students.

Art by Anna Maria Elementary Student - bird with fishCoastal & Estuarine Research Federation

The Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation produces a free electronic publication, Coastal & Estuarine Science News, that contains summaries of scientific articles with an emphasis on management of estuaries and other coastal resources.

C.O.O.L. Classroom Website

The Coastal Ocean Observation Laboratory (COOL) Classroom from Rutgers Marine and Coastal Sciences features instructional modules aimed at middle and high school students. Content includes movie clips, worksheets, teaching guides, and a glossary.

Coral Reef Adventure

The website for the film Coral Reef Adventure includes a teacher’s guide and other helpful materials.

Cornell University – Environmental Inquiry

Resources to support high school student projects in environmental science.

Digital Library of Earth System Education

Online library of educational resources and services to support Earth system science education at all levels in both formal and informal settings.

Art by Anna Maria Elementary Student - heron

Environmental Literacy Council

The website helps educators share activities and ideas. The topics are drawn from suggested lab and field investigations for the AP environmental science course.

Estuary Education

Website features videos, articles, photos, games, quizzes and more. A full curriculum for middle and high school students is included with helpful links.

National Geographic website provides information resources about estuaries.

Art by Anna Maria Elementary Student - bee, flower, butterfly

Florida Invasive Plant Education & Curriculum

Website provides activities for middle school and high school students with the use of slide shows, videos, plant flash cards and more.

Florida Marine Science Educator’s Association

Professional association of individuals and organizations devoted to marine education in Florida. Group offers workshops and field trips.

Florida Museum of Natural History

MESS stands for Marvelous Explorations through Science and Stories. MESS helps teachers and parents support early science explorations.

Florida Natural Areas Inventory

The non-profit administered by Florida State University gathers, interprets and shares information about conservation of Florida’s biological diversity.

Florida Wetlands

The University of Florida / IFAS Extension website has helpful resources about wetlands for students of all ages.

Gulf of Mexico Alliance

Learn about the importance of the Gulf to Florida and the U.S. The website includes a media center, links to videos, games, news, and interviews with scientists.

Gulf of Mexico Multicultural Education Program

Bringing together students and teachers of diverse cultural and economic backgrounds to address environmental concerns in the Gulf of Mexico.

Living Waters

This one hour documentary highlights 12 aquatic preserves in Florida.

Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program introduces the LiMPETS network for middle school, high school, and other volunteer groups to monitor the rocky intertidal, sandy shore, and offshore areas of select sanctuaries.

Art by Anna Maria Elementary Student - white ibis

National Environmental Education Foundation

Independent non-profit environmental education arm of the Environmental Protection Agency. Resources about nature, weather + climate, and health.

National Marine Educators Association

The NMEA brings together individuals interested in the study and enjoyment of fresh and salt water. It also provides a focus for marine and aquatic studies.

National Science Teachers Association

The NSTA is focused on science teaching and learning with more than 60,000 members.

NOAA Marine Debris Program

Resource for topics related to marine debris; includes news reports, art contests for kids, lesson plans, curriculum guides, and activity books.

Project WET

Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) provides water education for teachers including guides and student activity booklets.

Art by Anna Maria Elementary Student - sun, butterfly, bee, flowers

Sci Starter

Website presents citizen science projects from around the world.

Sea Grant Florida

Curriculum for teaching K-12 students about manatees, right whales, sea turtles, and more!

Water Resources

USGS website provides resources and links focused on water basics, groundwater, floods, drought, water quality, and water use.

Watersheds for Kids

Website from the Southwest Florida Water Management District provides younger students with information about watersheds and related topics.

Wonderful World of Weather

This Real Time Data Module for elementary students allows students to investigate weather phenomena locally and in other places around the world.