Sarasota Bay Estuary Program volunteers

Bay Partners Grant Program

The SBEP Bay Partners Grant Program promotes environmental education, awareness, Volunteers working on restorationcommunity involvement, and stewardship to improve the overall quality of Sarasota Bay and its tributaries. To support these goals, funding is available from SBEP for local projects that focus on Bay Habitat Improvement, Bay Water Quality Improvement, or Bay-Related Environmental Education.

The application period for 2017 Bay Partners Grants has closed. Please check back in January 2018 for the 2018 Bay Partners Grants application.

Businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, academic institutions, civic associations, religious organizations, and neighborhood/homeowners’ associations located in Sarasota and Manatee counties with projects that will benefit the Sarasota Bay watershed are eligible to receive funding.

Please contact Darcy Young, Public Outreach Manager at or (941) 955-8085 for more information.

Completed Projects

Since 2003, the SBEP has awarded over $275,000 in Bay Partners Grants to support 65 area organizations throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Please visit our Digital Map to see locations and descriptions of Bay Partners projects that have been completed since 2006.

2017 Bay Partners Grants Awardees

Anna Maria Island Elementary School, Holmes Beach – $2,000 for “Closing the Loop – Creating a School-based Composting Education and Action Program at Anna Maria Island Elementary School”

Grant will support a school-wide food scrap recovery and composting program that will educate students and staff about the interdependency of human wellness, ecosystem health, and waste reduction. The program will emphasize the benefits of using compost as an alternative to fertilizers, which are a cause of nutrient enrichment in local waterways.

Ballard Elementary School, Bradenton – $1,500 for “Ballard Kids: Wares Creek Watershed Studies”

Grant will support the participation of Ballard Elementary K-5 students in inquiry-based studies of Ballard Pond and Wares Creek.

Happy Paddler Kayak Tours & EcoVentures, Longboat Key – $840 for “Longboat Pass Paddle Clean Initiative”

Grant provides start-up funds for a project to encourage paddlers to help remove marine debris from Sarasota Bay in areas with heavy recreational use.

New College of Florida, Sarasota – $2,959 for “Bay Stewards in the making: Learning to Live Cooperatively with the Environment”

Grant will support intensive summer science education program for 25 middle and high school students from groups under-represented in the sciences. The program emphasizes hands-on learning about estuaries, the scientific method, and human impacts on the environment.

New College Foundation, Sarasota – $1,385 for “Phytoremediation of Contaminated Groundwater”

Grant will support a student research project to examine the ability of different native Florida plants to remediate heavy metals and other soil contaminants. Installation of the native plants on campus will help retain and filter stormwater runoff from US 41 before reaching Sarasota Bay.

Orchid Oaks Condominium Association, Sarasota – $2,000 for “Orchid Oaks Preserve Restoration at Phillippi Creek”

Grant will support removal of exotic plants and installation of native plants at Orchid Oaks Preserve, one of the largest stretches of natural shoreline along Phillippi Creek. Restoration plans intend to remediate stormwater runoff from the condominium association property.

Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida, Sarasota – $1,000 for “Climate Council of Sarasota-Manatee”

Grant will support general activities of the Climate Council of Sarasota-Manatee, an ad-hoc working group of experts and practitioners aiming to coordinate information-sharing, messaging, and public engagement about local climate change impacts.

Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida, Sarasota – $500 for “Watershed Awareness: Phillippi Creek – Are You In?”

Grant will support a new watershed awareness campaign to increase a sense of responsibility for the health of Phillippi Creek among watershed residents.

Sea to Shore Alliance, Sarasota – $2,960 for “EcoExplorer Marine Biology Camp for Low-Income Youth in Sarasota”

Grant will support a marine science and conservation summer program for 10 Booker High School students. Conservation scientists will lead students in guided classroom activities and field trips on Sarasota Bay.

Sherwood Forest Owners Association, Sarasota – $800 for “Sherwood Forest Pond Restoration”

Grant provides funds for naturalizing a stormwater retention pond. Installing native plants in the pond will reduce nutrient levels in the pond, which feeds into Phillippi Creek. Improving water quality in the pond will benefit Phillippi Creek and its receiving waterbody, Roberts Bay.

Southgate Community Association, Sarasota – $1,500 for “Phillippi Creek Shoreline Restoration and Stabilization Demonstration Project”

Grant will support a project to remove invasive vegetation and plant native vegetation along a high-profile Phillippi Creek shoreline.

Wilkinson Elementary School, Sarasota – $2,500 for “Take it Outside: Environmental Education at Wilkinson Elementary”

Grant will support a project to develop an outdoor environmental learning space and complementary school curricula. Students will learn about water conservation, native plants, stormwater runoff, and other Bay-related issues.