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Water-Related News

Speakers offer insight on improving Sarasota’s water quality

John McCarthy, executive director of Historic Spanish Point, started close to home Tuesday night when he illustrated the water-quality problem Sarasota faces, while addressing members of the Nokomis Area Civic Association.

“We’ve got a problem, would you agree? My wife doesn’t want to go swimming in the Gulf of Mexico,” McCarthy said, then added that he wasn’t sure if it was because of elevated counts of fecal bacteria or the recent reports of flesh-eating bacteria. “The fact that she doesn’t want to go shows me we have a problem.”

He followed that up with then-and-now headlines that illustrated the abundance of oysters in Sarasota Bay, as well as productive fishing trips.

“We were like a paradise; you never knew what you were going to pull out of the Gulf of Mexico, or out of the bay.”

He contrasted that with headlines of flesh-eating bacteria, no-swim advisories, blue green algae and sewer spills.

After McCarthy set the stage, Dr. Abbey Tyrna of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension and Sustainability; Steve Suau, principal of Progressive Water Resources; and Jon Thaxton, senior vice president for Community Investment at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, illustrated different aspects of the issue, as well as offering some solutions.