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

Water-Related News

Audio Tour Spotlights Local Watersheds

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The Science and Environment Council’s Watershed Audio Tour is the first of its kind in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. By dialing (941) 926-6813 and entering a stop number, you can hear 32 different informative messages about Southwest Florida’s spectacular environment. From land conservation to living shorelines, from seagrass to salterns, the tour stops explain the importance of our watersheds and how to protect them.

While you can dial and listen to the messages free from anywhere, visiting the sites listed on the menu provides an up-close and personal experience. For example, discover why mangroves are so important to our ecosystem while strolling along the mangrove-lined boardwalk at Historic Spanish Point. By listening to these informative messages, you’ll discover diverse aspects of the watershed, learn interesting facts, and easy ways you can help protect the watershed. For instance, learn how litter and pollution affect sealife, understand the role of wetlands in preventing downstream flooding and pollution, and find out about green roofs, or learn to make your own rain barrel.

But just what is a watershed anyway? In a nutshell, it is the land area on which rain falls then drains into a network of creeks, rivers, lakes, and bays. Why should you care? Because it’s all connected, what we do on the land determines the quality of our water bodies, large and small. This in turn, affects the quality of life for residents and visitors. Everyone who lives, works, and plays in Southwest Florida can take simple steps to make a difference when it comes to protecting our watersheds.

To help create public awareness about the watershed and the importance of this natural system, the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida (SEC), with partial funding from the Florida Beverage Association and Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, developed the free audio tour. Thirty-two unique watershed-related topics are highlighted on the tour and narrated by staff scientists at some of SEC’s twenty-nine member organizations.

For a map of tour stop locations and to listen on the web, visit the link below. Or dial (941) 926-6813 and choose from one of the following tour stops:

Press Hear Press Hear Press Hear Press Hear
1 Wetlands at Sarasota County’s Celery Fields 9 Prescribed Burns at Oscar Scherer State Park 17 Water Preservation at Crowley Museum and Nature Center 25 Prehistoric Life on the River at Manatee County’s Emerson Point Preserve
2 Ecosystems at Crowley Museum and Nature Center 10 Exotic Plant Removal at Sarasota County’s Phillippi Estate Park 18 Florida Pines at Myakka State Forest 26 Footsteps of the Past at Manatee County’s Neal Preserve
3 Water Quality at GWIZ The Science Museum 11 Estuaries and Sarasota Bay Estuary Program 19 Stormwater Retention at Sarasota County’s Celery Fields 27 Living Shorelines and Sarasota Bay Estuary Program,
4 Mangroves at Historic Spanish Point 12 Land Conservation and Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast 20 Tidal Lagoons at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 28 Land Conservation at the Lemur Conservation Foundation
5 Sea Grasses at Sarasota County’s Indian Mound Park at Lemon Bay 13 Green Roofs at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 21 Rookeries at Venice Audubon Society 29 Red Bug Slough Preserve and Sarasota Environmental Lands
6 Marine Life at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium 14 Rain Barrels & Cisterns at Florida House Learning Institute 22 Manatee River Manatees at South Florida Museum 30 Life Between the Tides at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
7 Bay Neighbor Landscaping and New College of Florida 15 Water Quantity and Aquarian Quest 23 Sister Keys Restoration and Sarasota Bay Watch 31 Tidal Creeks at Alligator Creek at Woodmere Park
8 Tree Canopies at New College of Florida 16 Wild and Scenic River at Myakka River State Park 24 Salterns at Manatee County’s Robinson Preserve 32 Pet Waste at Brohard Paw Park

SEC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to promote science-based environmental education, conservation and policy. Meet our Members and learn about our work at