Factors fueling red tide to be topic of Feb. 11 meeting of County Council of Neighborhood Associations

Meeting to feature executive director of Suncoast Waterkeeper

Image from the CONA website

On Feb. 11, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will present the executive director of Suncoast Waterkeeper, Justin Bloom, in a discussion of the factors fueling red tide that potentially “are within our control,” a news release says.

Bloom also will talk about “steps that may be taken to reverse our contributions to the exacerbation of the natural cycle into the protracted toxic calamity we have been experiencing,” the release adds.

“Suncoast Waterkeeper is a Sarasota-based nonprofit that seeks to protect and restore waterways in our community and beyond, through enforcement, fieldwork, advocacy, and environmental education for the benefit of the communities that rely upon these precious coastal resources,” the release explains. It is one of more than 300 Waterkeeper programs around the world, the release points out. “Waterkeepers are a combination of watchdog, investigator, scientist, educator, and legal advocate, protecting rights to clean water and empowering citizens to defend their waterways,” the release adds.

CONA will hold a series of programs related to red tide in an effort to encourage community action to reduce factors contributing to blooms, the release notes. “Understanding all of the factors may lead to the identification of actions the community can take to reduce red tide and point to the best timetable for actions as we tackle the reduction of red tide,” it says.

Following a traditional half-hour social before the program begins, the meeting will open with brief neighborhood updates about various issues, the release addsChris Bales will speak on Arbor Lake Preserve; Ben Cannon, on the proposed expansion of facilities at the Bath and Racquet Club; Sura Kochman, on Siesta Promenade; and Tom Matrullo, on the Celery Fields and Fresh Start.

The social period will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the meeting at 7 p.m. The meetings are held at the Sarasota Garden Club, which is located at 1131 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota. The club building is at the intersection of North Tamiami Trail, just south of the Municipal Auditorium; the parking lot and entrance may be reached from Van Wezel Way.

See www.conasarasota.org/meetings.html for more information about CONA.