Public Stewardship

All citizens play a role in shaping the health of Sarasota Bay. How we take care of our yards, clean up after our pets, wash our cars, recycle, and dispose of materials impacts water quality, wildlife, and resources in the Bay.

Sarasota Bay Repair Kit

The Sarasota Bay Repair Kit was one of SBEP's early action projects in the early 1990s. The Kit illustrates how watershed residents can reduce their impacts on Sarasota Bay habitats by making small lifestyle changes such as choosing non-toxic household cleaners, planting rain gardens, and more.

Facts about dog poop pollution running into the bay

Bay-Friendly Landscaping

Bay-Friendly Landscaping mimics natural systems that recycle everything – water, debris and nutrients. By paying attention to climate, soil conditions and plant choices, Bay-Friendly Landscaping practices save money, conserve resources and reduce waste.

Bay-Friendly Landscaping is an approach to landscaping that makes it easy to enjoy a garden while reducing waste and conserving resources. Bay-Friendly gardens aren’t a mold you have to fit into; they offer endless opportunities, from backyard wildlife gardens and kitchen gardens to native plant communities. Learn more about Florida-Friendly Landscaping.

Rain Barrels: One Component of a Water-Efficient Landscape

Rainwater harvesting is always beneficial, whether the water is used to water one houseplant or an entire garden. The act of collecting rainwater can also inspire other ways to conserve water around the home. The water savings from using stored rainwater rather than municipal or well water are substantial over a period of time. A rain barrel can also help reduce the amount of water that may settle around the foundation of your home.

For additional water conservation information: 

Low Impact Development Chart

Low Impact Development (LID) Principles

Low impact development is a way to develop land and manage stormwater runoff through nature, so the same ecological functions of water storage and filtration do not change after development has taken place.

How does it work?

Before an area is developed, it usually consists of trees, shrubs, and grasses. When it rains, a portion of the water falls on branches or leaves, where it gets taken up by plants or evaporates back into the sky. A portion of the rain falls on the ground, where it may get stored in grasses, roots, or soil. Any excess water after that continues through the soils, getting filtered as it either becomes groundwater or slowly makes its way into the bay. When development happens, all of the rainwater hits hard surfaces and goes with gravity directly to areas of lower elevation - usually nearby creeks, bays or storm drains (which also go directly to the bay). LID design practices try to maintain as much of the natural storage and filtration capacity as possible. Examples include saving trees on the site, installing cisterns to capture rainwater, installing pervious pavement, green roofs, and bay friendly landscapes.

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program is dedicated to restoring the area's greatest natural asset - Sarasota Bay. We offer special thanks to our partners: Sarasota County, Manatee County, City of Sarasota, City of Bradenton, Town of Longboat Key, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Southwest Florida Water Management District.