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Education: Learn More About Water Resources

This section is geared towards students and teachers (K-12) as well as citizens. If you are a student, use the links below to access websites and documents that can help you better understand water resources. If you're a teacher, use the links below to view Atlas-related lesson plans and links to educational resources related to education about water. If you're a citizen, use the links below to better understand the data on the Atlas and learn about maintaining the health of area water resources.

Creek Conditions

Sarasota County has 17 tidally-influenced creeks that connect to its coastal bay systems. Learn about water quality conditions in their freshwater and marine components

Bay Conditions Bay Conditions

How healthy are our coastal waterways? View reports on the conditions of Sarasota's six major bay systems.

Watershed Management Plans Watershed Management Plans

A watershed management plan defines and addresses existing or future water quality problems. Experience has shown that effective watershed management includes active participation from stakeholders, analysis of the specific causes and sources of water quality problems, identification of measurable water quality goals, and implementation of specific actions needed to solve those problems.

Beach Action Plan

Find information about Sarasota County beaches, and about what steps the County and its partners are taking to protect beachgoers from bacteria exposure and avert "No-Swim Advisories".

Climate Change & Florida Climate Change & Florida

Just the consideration of a changing global climate is confusing and bewildering. What is happening? What will this world be like for our children and our children's children?

Coastal Watershed Wiki Coastal Watershed Wiki

The Sarasota County Water Atlas has a new Wiki page to gather and discuss coastal watershed issues. Explore the wiki either by finding a topic or a geographic region of interest.

Historical Narratives Historical Narratives

Oral histories created by students at New College for Sarasota County.

NPDES Stormwater Program

The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is a federal program designed ot reduce stormwater pollutant discharges to receiving waters of the United States.


Learn more about the eastern oyster, Crassotrea virginica, a commercially and ecologically important mollusk that is also a good bioindicator of water quality in estuarine habitats.

Stormwater Education Stormwater Education

Learn more about stormwater systems.

Related Educational Documents and Links

Climate Change & Florida

Just the consideration of a changing global climate is confusing and bewildering. What is happening? What will this world be like for our children and our children's children? Are we the cause of the problem or is our planet cycling through a natural process we know little to nothing about? To compound the confusion, the briefest of internet searches will return a dizzying amount of information, much of which appears contradictory.

There is little doubt that our planet is warming. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) data, the Earth's average surface temperature has increased by about 1.2° to 1.4° Fahrenheit in the past 100 years. The eight warmest years on record since 1850 have all occurred in the past 10 years. Regardless of the cause, whether it be anthropogenic (human made) or a naturally occurring cycle, the warming of our planet has consequences for us all.

For those of us who call Florida home, the potential consequences are particularly important. The entire state of Florida is at a low elevation, and 80% of its population lives within 10 miles of the coast. Surrounded as it is by water, our state will see a dramatic change in geography with any rise in sea level (see graphic below), not to mention the economic effects on agriculture and industry, and on our water supply. Although the Governor's Action Team on Energy and Climate Change, created by former Governor Charlie Crist in 2008, has now been abolished, counties and municipalities recognize Florida's vital interest in climate change and continue to make contingency plans for its anticipated effects. Below you will find some helpful links to important information about climate change and what is at stake for Florida.

State & Regional Climate Information:

National and International Climate Information: