Volunteers sought for seagrass survey

Sarasota County undertakes regular seagrass surveys. Photo courtesy NOAA

Sarasota County is seeking volunteers for its seagrass survey program, which collects data on local seagrass, algae, water clarity and depth from locations throughout Sarasota’s bays.

“Seagrass is vital to maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems, improving water quality, stabilizing shorelines and providing food and cover for a variety of wildlife,” a county news release says.

“Seagrass is directly responsible for bringing in millions of dollars into our economy through recreational and commercial fishing activities,” said Amanda Dominguez, Sarasota County water resources environmental specialist, in the news release. “The seagrass survey is one of our most popular volunteer activities, because you get to be out on the water enjoying the summer weather while helping to protect one of the most important assets in our community.”

All program volunteers for the survey must attend a training session that includes hands-on training in the water, the news release says. The session will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4 (rain date is Sunday, Aug. 5) at the Turtle Beach Community Center, 8918 Midnight Pass Road, on Siesta Key.

Volunteers should bring swimwear and water shoes. Participants with their own watercraft and GPS systems are strongly encouraged; those who do not have that equipment will be paired with those who do, the news release notes.

For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 or visit www.scgov.net.