South Venice Civic Association group partnering with Sarasota County to improve the handling of waterway maintenance
The South Venice Water Quality Task Force has announced that the next Siesta Waterway workday is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 13, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The undertaking usually lasts from one to three hours, depending on the weather, as the crew puts in Florida native plants, performs weeding and picks up trash on about 200 feet of the flat area along the Siesta Waterway, beginning at the intersection of Seminole Drive and Quincy Roads, a news release says.
South Venice residents have been working with Sarasota County staff and the county commissioners to create a program that not only improves the handling of county waterways maintenance but that also can serve as a replicable model for other waterways in the county and across the region, the release explains. Former Sarasota County Commissioner Jon Thaxton writes in the release, “This is a great example of a community taking charge and government following. I love it.”
The South Venice Civic Association (SVCA) Waterway Restoration initiative is a collaboration to improve the biological conditions in the water and along the banks of two waterways (Siesta and Briarwood ditches) in the South Venice area of Sarasota County, the release explains. The effort is designed to protect Alligator Creek, “which constitutes a large portion of the upper Lemon Bay watershed,” the release points out.
The project will rehabilitate a total of 7,500 linear feet of waterway ditch bank in three segments: Phase 1—Siesta (425 feet); Phase 2 — Siesta (4,130 feet) and Phase 3 — Brairwood (2,945 feet). The project includes removing invasive plants and accumulated sediment, followed by the installation of site-appropriate Florida native plants, to create a more natural waterway, the release adds. “Improved water quality and biodiversity will be indicative of a healthier drainage system discharging into Lemon Bay,” the release says.
This undertaking leverages grant funding from the Southwest Florida Water Management District to achieve benefits worth $548,000 at a cost of $274,000, the release notes. It will continue through September, the release says.
Videos describing the work are available for viewing: