About 45 pounds of garbage removed from pond near Sarasota High School campus, thanks to recent installation of ‘WaterGoat’

City and county staff members collaborate on initiative that students ordinarily would have pursued

City and County of Sarasota employees work to remove garbage from the WaterGoat near the Sarasota High campus. Image courtesy Sarasota County

On May 8, staff members of the Sarasota County Public Works Stormwater Division and the City of Sarasota’s Sustainability Division collected about 45 pounds of trash from a pond located near Sarasota High School, Mollie Holland, coordinator of the Sarasota County Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST), reported this week.

The crew pulled the garbage out a pollution control device called a WaterGoat, which had been put in place near the campus, Holland added.

The City of Sarasota purchased the WaterGoat, in partnership with Sarasota High, and the county staff helped install it, she noted.

“Together, county and city staff removed more than two 30-gallon bags of trash,” Holland reported. All of those materials “would have gone directly to the bay in a matter of hours from that location,” Holland pointed out. “The trash was mostly Styrofoam products and plastic drinking bottles,” she noted.

Normally, Sarasota High students would have undertaken the initiative, Holland explained. However, the local government employees handled it because students have not been allowed on campuses since March, as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.