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Sarasota Bay Water Festival Announces the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest

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SARASOTA – The Sarasota Bay Water Festival has announced the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest. The first, second and third place winners in three age divisions will be displayed at the inaugural event Saturday, November 17 at Ken Thompson Park. The contest rules and guidelines are posted at Visitors to the festival will have an opportunity to vote on a special People’s Choice Award.

“The photo contest is an opportunity to engage adults and youth throughout the region to express their passion about the beauty of Sarasota Bay,” said Randy Moore, the event director. “This creative expression helps to reinforce the importance of Sarasota Bay to our environment and our economy.”

The festival theme is Enjoy the Bay and activities are being organized around three areas: Bay Recreation, Bay Creative Arts, and Bay Science & Education. Highlights include a Creative Arts Tent showcasing a dozen of the area’s top wildlife photographers, live music on the main stage, local food vendors, and many exhibits and activities promoting all forms of boating, fishing, paddle board sports, scuba diving, birding, and other fun activities.

Florida’s first “iceberg” will be unveiled thanks to the creativity of Rick Herzog, a Sculpting Professor at New College of Florida. The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show Team will perform at 4pm. Event guests can also gain free admission to the popular Mote Aquarium which is open from 10am to 5pm. Admission requires obtaining a stamp at the event so please come early if you want to include an afternoon visit to Mote Aquarium.

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is the host sponsor and Triple 3 Marketing (T3M) is managing the festival. SBEP is one of the 28 National Estuary Programs in the U.S. and a long term advocate of a healthy Sarasota Bay with its major partners and many allied organizations. T3M is the same leadership team that produced the E-Fest Green Living Music & Arts Festival in 2007 and 2008.

Early event sponsors include City of Sarasota, Solar Direct, Manatee County, Whole Foods Market, Sarasota County, Janicki Environmental, Inc., Town of Longboat Key, HDR Engineering, Inc., City of Bradenton, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Stantec, Mote Marine Laboratory, Caldwell Trust Company, Visit Sarasota County, New College of Florida, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Scheda Ecological Associates, Inc., WSRQ 1220AM Radio, Around the Bend Nature Tours, Save Our Seabirds, Reef Innovations, Inc., Sarasota Audubon, Nature’s Academy, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Science and Environmental Council of Sarasota County, and the UF/IFAS Extension in both counties.

Festival organizers are seeking additional sponsors from the private and public sector. Some of the sponsor contributions will support SBEP education and volunteer programs benefiting Sarasota Bay. Details about sponsorship are posted on the event website.