March 22 event planned in Venice for leaders of Collaborative and residents to answer questions about best practices
The Healthy Pond Collaborative (HPC), which is helping neighborhoods improve their stormwater ponds and fight red tide, has announced that its newest tool — “a comprehensive how-to guide that steps readers through the best strategies for managing backyard lakes and ponds” — is available at www.healthyponds.org.
“There are over 6,600 ponds in Sarasota County,” Abbey Tyrna of the nonprofit Suncoast Waterkeeper, and one of the lead authors of
the new Healthy Ponds Guide, said in a news release. “Better management of these systems will significantly improve our local waters,” she added in the release.
“Human activities are an important contributor to the nutrient pollution that feeds red tide,” explained Sandy Gilbert of Solutions to Avoid Red Tide (START) in the release. “Healthy stormwater pond practices, when implemented properly, can save homeowners thousands of dollars and drastically improve water quality,” he continued. “And thanks to Barancik Foundation, we have money to help communities get started.”
Funded by the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation in September 2021, the Healthy Pond Collaborative has facilitated more than 4.3 miles of shoreline plantings at 13 ponds across Sarasota County, the release points out.
That number is set to grow this year, the release says. “HPC’s new guide will assist individuals and homeowners associations in maintaining and improving their ponds independently,” the release adds. “The Healthy Ponds Guide: The Essential Guide to Establishing and Maintaining Healthy Neighborhood Stormwater Ponds in Southwest Florida walks
readers through assessing, improving, and protecting their ponds, gives tips on what to ask pond contractors, and details where resources are available to help make management decisions,” the release points out.
On Wednesday, March 22 (World Water Day), Guide authors and users will be available for questions in front of a recently improved stormwater pond located at 19211 Tantino Drive in Venice, the release notes. The session will be conducted from 10:30 to 10:50 a.m.
The Healthy Pond Collaborative is a consortium that includes Solutions to Avoid Red Tide (START), Sarasota County Government’s Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST), the Suncoast Waterkeeper, the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Sarasota County, the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida, and local neighborhoods, the release explains.
With funding from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, HPC has educated more than 40 communities on best practices for stormwater pond management, and it has provided grants to install native Florida plants in community ponds, the release points out.