What it is like to participate in the annual Sarasota County Seagrass Survey, Saturday, April 25 at Ken Thompson Park

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By: Carol Erickson
Volunteers in Sarasota are the “heart and soul” of our growing community.   They share their time,  talent and energy and truly believe they can make a difference. That is exactly what they did on April 25th as many locals came forth for a hands-on event at Ken Thompson Park for the annual Sarasota County Seagrass Survey.
In celebration of Earth Day, the many local volunteers were given a rare opportunity to participate in collecting valuable information from our waters that will help keep us enlightened and educated on the economic and environmental merits of seagrass.
Seagrasses are flowering plants that grow entirely underwater and are vital to maintaining healthy waterways.  They perform numerous functions such as stabilizing the sea bottom, provide food for many marine animals, support local economies and maintain water quality.
By supporting these important clean-water initiatives and dedicated environmental experts, we can continue to look forward to a better quality of life for ourselves,  our treasured families and communities for many years to come.
For more information and findings on the survey,  please contact Ashley Melton,  the Sarasota County Environmental Specialist at [email protected]


Sarasota Bay annual seagrass survey on Saturday, April 25

SARASOTA COUNTY – The annual Sarasota County Seagrass Survey is taking place on Saturday, April 25.

This is a great opportunity to see up-close local volunteers in action as they collect valuable data that will help scientists better understand and protect our local bays and estuarine habitats.
Open to the public, this event celebrates Earth Day, while providing the public with a fun, educational and hands-on opportunity to give back to the community. This year’s survey theme is Seagrass: the lawn that doesn’t need fertilizer, which focuses on how stormwater pollution and run-off effect our environmentally and economically valuable seagrass habitat. All volunteers and media are provided a free lunch after the survey concludes.


WHAT: 2015 Sarasota County Seagrass Survey

WHEN: 8 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 25

WHERE: Ken Thompson Park, 1700 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, 34236

WHY: The annual seagrass survey is an effort to collect data for the county’s Seagrass Monitoring Program. Seagrasses are vital to maintaining healthy estuarine communities. Seagrass stabilizes shorelines, provides food and shelter for a variety of wildlife, as well as absorbs nutrients. The seagrass survey is open to the public who register by April 20. Snorkelers, waders, kayakers, boaters, and paddle boarders are invited to participate.




Sarasota County to host seagrass survey April 25 



SARASOTA COUNTY – To celebrate Earth Day, Sarasota County and local partners invite the public to volunteer in a seagrass survey on Saturday, April 25, at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota.

This fun, family-friendly, hands-on, event provides the public with an opportunity to learn about seagrass habitat up-close. 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 seagrass survey is open to the public with snorkelers, waders, kayakers, boaters, and paddle boarders invited to participate.


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. Seagrass is vital to maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems, stabilizing shorelines and providing food and shelter for a variety of wildlife. Seventy percent of Florida’s fisheries species, such as shrimp and trout, spend part of their life in seagrass. This year’s theme: Seagrass: The Lawn That Doesn’t Need Fertilizer, focuses on how stormwater pollution, like too much fertilizer placed on our lawns, harms seagrass habitat. Those excess nutrients can result in algae blooms that block necessary light from reaching seagrasses.


Register to volunteer by April 20: https://seagrasssurvey.eventbrite.com

  • On-site training, required for all participants: 8-9 a.m.
  • Data Collection: 9 a.m. noon
  • Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon: noon – 1 p.m.

Ken Thompson Park is located at 1700 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, 34236

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