An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Sarasota County Updates Manatee Protection Plan

Sarasota County is updating its Manatee Protection Plan (MMP), first implemented in 2003, with data captured over the last few years. Sarasota County Commissioners will consider adopting the proposed updates to the MPP at its meeting on July 27.

Florida statutes require an MPP for key coastal counties where manatees are present. The purpose of the plan is to reduce human-related impacts to the endangered West Indian Manatee while balancing human and environmental needs.

The recommended update is based on information collected on manatee habitats as well boating facilities and boat traffic. While some revisions in manatee use designations have been made since 2003, the total amount of coastal waterway shoreline in Sarasota County designated as manatee habitat has changed by less than 5 percent.

The proposed changes correspond to revisions to the Boat Facility Siting Plan, which is the county's guidance document for future development, construction and expansion of boat facilities that include five slips or more. The proposed regulations do not apply to single-family docks.

The County Commission will be considering adoption of the updated MPP following the public comment period. Please provide comments in writing to or by telephone at 861-5000 (ask for Natural Resources).

If approved by the commission, the plan will be sent to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for final approval.

To receive periodic emails about the MPP update process, please contact Email updates include announcements about upcoming public meetings and project status updates.