County ready to ‘Walk the Watershed’ to keep Phillippi Creek free of pollution

Public meeting set for Aug. 31 at Florida House in Sarasota

The Phillippi Creek watershed is the focus of a Sarasota County YouTube video. Image from the video
The Phillippi Creek watershed is the focus of a Sarasota County YouTube video. Image from the video

As part of its commitment to environmental stewardship and water quality, Sarasota County staff will conduct a “Walk the Watershed” exercise, a Florida Department of Environmental Protection-approved method of looking for bacterial sources, around Phillippi Creek, the county has announced.

Walk the Watershed will kick off with a public meeting from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 31 at Florida House, located at 4454 Beneva Road in Sarasota, a news release says. Members of the public are invited to review maps of the Phillippi Creek watershed and provide comments on possible sources of pollution. County staff then will review those maps and other reports and data focused on Phillippi Creek to identify areas for field investigation, the release adds. “GPS, photography and field notes will help determine what improvements can be made immediately, and which might require additional follow-up and more technical solutions,” the release explains.

“It’s a pretty common-sense, straightforward field investigation, based on any clue we can find,” said John Ryan, environmental manager with Sarasota County’s Stormwater Division, in the release. “Sarasota County already makes many efforts to improve and protect water quality, and this process is another way to help ensure we can safely enjoy the water and eat the fish we find here.”

Although residents living within close proximity to Phillippi Creek may be most affected by pollution in the watershed, Ryan pointed out in the release, all people should be aware of the role they play in preventing pollution runoff to local water bodies. “Local governments that do not make investments in water quality may be leaving the door open for algae blooms, public health problems, closed beaches and inedible fish and shellfish,” the release says.

Registration for the Aug. 31 Walk the Watershed public meeting is available online through Eventbrite.

For more information about Walk the Watershed, check out a video on the Sarasota County YouTube channel or call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 861-5000. To learn more about other water quality restoration and protection efforts in Sarasota County, visit (keywords: water pollution).