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Sarasota Bay Estuary Program now accepting 2014 Bay Partner grant applications

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SARASOTA – The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is accepting applications for the 2014 Bay Partner Grants Program with a deadline of March 3. The purpose of the annual program is to promote environmental education, community involvement and stewardship to improve the overall quality of Sarasota Bay and its tributaries. Organizations can receive up to $3,000 for projects that benefit Sarasota Bay. SBEP has awarded $232,000 in grants to more than 113 organizations since 2003.

Schools, businesses, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, churches, and civic groups in Sarasota and Manatee counties are eligible. The watershed boundaries are from Anna Maria Sound to the Venice Inlet as well as all of the barrier islands. Some of the prior projects have included wildlife gardens and landscaping featuring Florida native plants, micro-irrigation projects, land contouring to create bioswales, signs that promote Bay-stewardship, and education programs.

Bay Partner Grant applications must be received at the SBEP offices by 4pm on Friday, March 3 to be eligible. Applications can be emailed as a Word document or PDF file to Sara Kane at The website also lists the nine grant projects that were funded for 2013. Inquiries are welcome. Contact information is below.