On Saturday, April 29, Sarasota County will host its third annual Seagrass Survey

Variety of free activities to be featured from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron

Volunteers assist with a previous Seagrass Survey for Sarasota County. Photo courtesy Sarasota County

Sarasota County, the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and local partners invite the public to attend the third annual Seagrass Survey on Saturday, April 29, at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron next to Ken Thompson Park.

“This fun, family-friendly, hands-on event provides the public with an opportunity to learn about seagrass habitat up-close,” a news release explains. “Registered volunteers will take to the waters in and around Sarasota Bay to count and identify seagrass species, in an effort to collect data for the county’s Seagrass Monitoring Program,” the release adds.

Although the limit has been reached for people to register as survey volunteers, plenty of free nature-themed activities will be available for the public to enjoy at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including crafts involving mini reef ball decorations and scallop shell necklaces, dip-netting, a fishing net mending demonstration, games for children, and giveaways, the release notes. Live music also will be provided, along with food for purchase.

“The Seagrass Survey celebrates Sarasota County’s commitment to protecting its water resources and focuses on increasing awareness of the economic and environmental value of seagrass habitat,” the release says.

“Seagrasses are vital to maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems,” it points out. “Seagrasses stabilize shorelines and provide food and shelter to a variety of wildlife. Seventy percent of Florida’s fisheries species — including scallops, crabs, shrimp, mackerel and snapper — spend part or all of their lives in seagrass beds,” the release explains.

The Sarasota Sailing Squadron is located at 1717 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota.

For more information, call the county Contact Center at 861-5000, visit www.scgov.net, or email Ashley Melton at amelton@scgov.net.