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Boating

Sarasota Bay is a long, protected lagoon that invites boaters to explore. This enjoyable pastime plays an important role in our local and state economy. In 2013, recreational boating contributed $10.4 billion and 82,752 jobs to Florida's economy.

Boating with Seagrass

Sarasota Bay is shallow, and about half of it is covered in seagrass. Seagrasses are aquatic flowering plants that grow in meadows teeming with wildlife. These habitats are very important to our economy, fishing industry, and they provide protection from storms. When boaters run too shallow over seagrass beds, they can rip out grasses and cause propeller scars, or prop scars. Scarred areas can take years to grow back. Sometimes they never do.

Boaters can help protect seagrasses by following a few simple steps.

Tips to Avoid Seagrass

 Know Your Tides

Icon depicting tides and the moon

Stay in the Channel

Icon depicting a map

Wear Polarized Sunglasses

Sunglasses Icon

Tilt Your Engine in 2.5ft or Less

Engine Tilt to avoid seagrass icon

Look for Water Color

Blue = deeper

Green = shallower

Brown = bad You're stirring up the bottom!

Why Are Seagrasses Important Infographic

If You Get Stuck

Sarasota Bay Map & Waterway Guide

Click to see our map of seagrass areas, dockside restaurants, and natural points of interest.

Interested in distributing maps or installing a Be Seagrass Safe sign at your location? Contact Christine Quigley.

BeSeagrassSafe Emblem   Read more about seagrass safe boating at Florida Sea Grant Be Seagrass Safe.

Boating Guides

Boater's Guide to Manatee County
Boating and Angling Guide to North Sarasota County
Boating and Angling Guide to South Sarasota County