According to the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) Sarasota Bay Ecosystem Health Report Card, Sarasota County’s water quality has been improving since 2018. The report card tracks a combination of four chemical and biological indicators of water quality and ecosystem health. Each indicator gives us a different perspective about the extent to which high nutrient levels might be affecting area bays.

The annual SBEP report card was highlighted during the Sept. 13 Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) under Commissioner Moran’s reports, stating “in some cases, our water quality is the best its been in 15 years.” Commissioner Moran represents the BCC on the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Board.

The SBEP report card highlights continued improved water quality and health in Big Sarasota Bay, Roberts Bay, Little Sarasota Bay and Blackburn Bay.

What is the SBEP Sarasota Bay Ecosystem Health Report Card?

Water quality improvement is the basis of SBEP’s mission to restore Sarasota Bay. Without good water quality, seagrass meadows cannot flourish, leaving little habitat for fish and wildlife. The Sarasota Bay Ecosystem Health Report Card tracks four bay health indicators and combines them into an overall, annual score for each of our five bay segments: Palma Sola Bay, Big Sarasota Bay, Roberts Bay, Little Sarasota Bay, and Blackburn Bay. The report card helps SBEP and partners prioritize monitoring and management actions.

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