This slender bay is central to the communities of Sarasota, Osprey, Siesta Key and Casey Key. Native people populated the area from at least 4000 years ago. The first settlers, the Webb family, built Spanish Point in 1847 and farmed there for decades. In 1983, the former Midnight Pass was closed, which reduced tidal flushing and changed the ecosystem of the bay. Today the Neville Preserve and Palmer Point Park are peaceful refuges in the vicinity of the former pass. Several creeks discharge to the bay, including Matheny Creek, Elligraw Bayou, Holiday Bayou, Clower Creek, Catfish Creek, and North Creek. There is a legal discharge of highly purified wastewater in Matheny Creek. Tidal flushing from the bay to the Gulf must go to either Big Sarasota Pass, the Venice Inlet, or both. North of the Blackburn Point bridge, a Manatee Refuge restricts boat speeds in the ICW channel to less than 25 m.p.h. The bay is within the Sarasota Bay National Estuary Program study area and is protected by degradation as an Outstanding Florida Water. It is also a SWIM waterbody. Learn more about what constitutes a bay or estuary »
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There are no associated names for this body of water.
Bay Condition Reports give a quick assessment of the water quality in a bay during a particular year by examining three important indicators of nutrient pollution: chlorophyll a, nitrogen and phosphorus.
Or view individual, yearly reports:
This water resource is monitored by 36 sampling locations, which have collected a total of 60,900 samples ranging from 1/11/1971 to 8/5/2015. The sites sampling this water resource are:
|Datasource (click for details)||Station ID|
|FDEP Historic Data from Legacy STORET||24010538|
|FDEP Historic Data from Legacy STORET||24010539|
|FDEP Historic Data from Legacy STORET||24010605|
|FDEP Historic Data from Legacy STORET||24010609|
|FDEP Historic Data from Legacy STORET||24010668|
|FDEP Southwest District Sampling Data||271425823044|
|FDEP Southwest District Sampling Data||27142728230386|
|IMAP Water Quality Data||SAR200119|
|IMAP Water Quality Data||SAR200120|
|Mote Marine Historic Data from Legacy STORET||271136082295500|
|Mote Marine Historic Data from Legacy STORET||271223082303400|
|Mote Marine Historic Data from Legacy STORET||271237082301600|
|Mote Marine Historic Data from Legacy STORET||271319082302900|
|Mote Marine Historic Data from Legacy STORET||271358082305000|
|Sarasota County Environmental Services Department Sampling Data||14-1|
|Sarasota County Environmental Services Department Sampling Data||14-2|
|Sarasota County Environmental Services Department Sampling Data||14-3|
|Sarasota County Environmental Services Department Sampling Data||14-4|
|Sarasota County Environmental Services Department Sampling Data||14-5|
|Sarasota County Historic Data from Legacy STORET||14-1|
|Sarasota County Historic Data from Legacy STORET||14-2|
|Sarasota County Historic Data from Legacy STORET||14-3|
|Sarasota County Historic Data from Legacy STORET||14-4|
|Sarasota County Historic Data from Legacy STORET||14-5|
|Sarasota County Historic Data from Legacy STORET||24010539|
|Sarasota County Historic Data from Legacy STORET||24010605|
|Sarasota County Historic Data from Legacy STORET||24010609|
Watersheds are areas of land with waterways that flow to a common destination. The boundaries between watersheds are elevated areas called divides. In this Atlas, the watersheds are composed of groups of creeks that flow to a single bay or group of bays. Drainage basins are subunits of watersheds and are defined by the main creek that flows through them. Sarasota County has five watersheds, named after the bays or river, and 28 drainage basins, named after the creeks. Stormwater improvements to reduce flooding and improve water quality are based on the drainage basin unit. Learn more about watersheds »
Little Sarasota Bay is located within the Little Sarasota Bay Watershed.
Specific drainage basins within this watershed include:
Who to call about environmental concerns and to report environmentally harmful activities. For potentially life threatening emergencies dial 911.
|Concern or Activity||Contact(s)|
|Dangerous Boating / Accidents||
FWCC, Division of Boating Safety
FWCC, Fish Kills
|Injured Wildlife or Illegal Activities||
FWCC, Wildlife Violations
|Shoreline Alterations, Wetland Impacts||
|Aquatic Plant Removal||
|Water Pollution, Residuals Landspreading||
|Wetlands Issues/Dredge and Fill||
FWCC - Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
FDEP - Florida Department of Enviromental Protection
Nautical charts show water depth, the shoreline of adjacent land, prominent topographic features, aids to navigation, and other navigational information. They are maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and have recently been made available as geo-referenced, digital images which can be now be viewed within the Advanced Mapping Tool.
Every one of us contributes pollution to our streams, lakes, bays and oceans. The wastewater, dirt, and debris of our lives eventually drains downstream. Each of us must minimize our contribution to keep our waterways healthy and enjoyable. Some materials are powerful pollutants like raw sewage, petroleum, or pesticides, but even natural, biodegradable plant materials can add nitrogen to water resources and cause algal blooms and fish kills. Please use the information below to assist you in reporting an incident to the correct agency. Learn More about Reporting Pollution »
Sarasota County needs you to help manage and protect its natural resources! Fill out this form, and we will contact you with more information about becoming a volunteer. Learn more about volunteering »
0 volunteers on Little Sarasota Bay have submitted a water quality sample for this water resource within the last 18 months.
Visit the following links to view historical information on this water resource: