NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAM: Environmental efforts are paying off
News Source: Herald Tribune
Date: February 8, 2017
By: CAPT. ZACH ZACHARIAS, CORRESPONDENT
The Sarasota Bay National Estuary Program continues to issue good news concerning the overall health of the bay. Since 2014, the bay has seen a net increase in seagrass coverage of 180 acres, bringing the total acreage up to 13,469. From the outset of mapping in 1988, there has been a 54 percent increase.
Of the five estuary segments including Palma Sola, Big Sarasota, Little Sarasota, Roberts and Blackburn Bays, three registered increases while Little Sarasota and Blackburn Bays saw a slight decrease since 2014.
Efforts by local governmental entities to improve water quality by limiting or eliminating waste water discharges, converting aging septic systems to central sewer and improving the quality of stormwater runoff has gone a long way in bringing about these positive results.
Similar results have been documented by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program to the north. This good news bodes well for Suncoast residents that recreate on our most precious natural resource. Especially so when possible negative impacts of waterfront development looms large now and in the near future.