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Ribbon cutting Tuesday to celebrate completion of Dona Bay watershed restoration project

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SARASOTA COUNTY – The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completion of Phase 1 of the Dona Bay Watershed Restoration Program at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, in Nokomis.

The program comprises several projects that are aimed at restoring natural systems that were impacted more than 50 years ago with the construction of the Cow Pen Slough.

The excess fresh water altered the salinity of the estuary, which needs an appropriate mix of salt and fresh water for many species that inhabit it.

Phase 1 addresses the freshwater inflow imbalances, while also providing several other benefits, including water quality improvements to stormwater runoff and wetland restoration, potential surface water storage for a potable water source and bonus recreational amenities for passive water sports, hiking, and bird watching.

The $12 million project has been named Project of the Year by the Florida chapter of the American Public Works Association, and it's now being considered for APWA's National Project of the Year award.

Tuesday's ceremony will be held at the site of the Phase 1 construction project. Guests are asked to park in the lot at 4000 Knights Trail Road, Nokomis, adjacent to the Central County Landfill, and transportation will be provided by Sarasota County Area Transit to the site a short distance away.

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit