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

Water-Related News

Florida Waters Stewardship course teaches residents how to protect county waters

Water is essential to our very existence, but we often overlook the importance of protecting and preserving our limited supplies.

You can help remedy that through the Florida Water Stewardship Program, offered by Sarasota County UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability. This eight-session course, launching Sept.12, uses expert presentations, hands-on learning, field training, and communications exercises to give participants the tools to become stewards of the area's water resources.

"As a plumber, I only knew one side of water. Now I understand that water is everywhere and connects everything," said Duane Sinkwich, a retired plumber and a graduate of Sarasota County's first water stewardship class, in 2016.

Water is a key driver of our health, environment and economy, and protecting our water resources is critical now and for the future. Water connects us all. We are connected to our streams and bays by our faucets and laundries, to our neighborhood ponds and lakes by our yards and streets, and to our regional and statewide neighbors by our surface and groundwater supplies.

Course participants will explore these connections and resources, learning about local water quality and quantity issues at locations around the county. The course comprises eight sessions:

  • Sept. 12: Watershed Basics and Stewardship - UF/IFAS Extension & Sustainability.
  • Sept. 26: Water Flow, Then and Now - South Gate Center.
  • Oct. 3: Managing Stormwater in Sarasota County - Audubon Nature Center at Celery Fields.
  • Oct. 21: Water Supply and Demand - Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority.
  • Nov. 4: Wastewater Management - Bee Ridge Wastewater Reclamation Facility.
  • Nov. 14: Conservation in Action - Englewood Water Authority.
  • Nov. 28: Communicating Water Stewardship - South Venice Civic Association.
  • Dec. 9: Graduation and Guided Kayak Tour - Historic Spanish Point
This $80 course is open to the public, though seating is limited. Scholarships and government employee discounts are available. Learn more and register early at to reserve your spot.

For more information about this course or available scholarships, contact Extension Water Agent Abbey Tyrna at or 941-861-9818.