Water stewards sought for new Sarasota County program starting this month

Seven sessions scheduled as part of training for volunteers

Phillippi Creek is one of many important water resources in Sarasota County. Image courtesy Sarasota County
Phillippi Creek is one of many important water resources in Sarasota County. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Members of the public are invited to help protect and preserve water resources by becoming water stewards in Sarasota County, the county has announced.

A new program is being offered by Sarasota County’s University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension and Sustainability Department, a news release says. Launching Sept. 13, the Florida Waters Stewardship Program will use presentations by experts on subject matter, hands-on learning, field training and communications exercises “to give participants the tools needed to act as stewards of the area’s water resources,” the news release explains.

“Water is a key driver of our health, environment and economy,” the release points out, so “protecting our water resources is critical now and for the future. … We are connected to our streams and bays by our faucets and laundries, to our neighborhood ponds and lakes by our yards and streets, and to our regional and statewide neighbors by our surface and groundwater supplies,” the release adds.

Participants in the program will travel across the county to learn about local water quality and quantity issues, the release continues. Seven sessions have been planned:

  • Sept. 13: Watershed Basics and Stewardship, offered at the Florida House Learning Center in Sarasota.
  • Sept. 27: Water, Then and Now, offered at the Nokomis Park Community Center.
  • Oct. 8: Water Supply and Demand, offered at the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority.
  • Oct. 18: Stormwater in Sarasota County, offered at the Audubon Nature Center at the Celery Fields.
  • Nov. 5: field training at Twin Lakes Park on Clark Road in Sarasota.
  • Nov. 15: Communicating Water Stewardship, offered at Oscar Scherer State Park near Osprey.
  • Dec. 3: graduation and guided kayak tour at Historic Spanish Point in Osprey.

Seating is limited, the release notes. Scholarships are available to offset the $89 course fee, it adds. Learn more and register early at http://bit.ly/FlaWaterSteward.

For more information about this course or available scholarships, contact Water Agent Abbey Tyrna at atyrna@ufl.edu or 861-9818.