Sarasota County Water Atlas

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Grand Canal

Grand Canal


located within Sarasota Bay Watershed

General Information


The Grand Canal is a 10 mile-long network of shallow canals that created an expansive waterfront residential community on Siesta Key. Construction first began on the feeder canal from Roberts Bay and the heart-shaped, inner loop surrounding what is known today as Palm Island in 1945 with the onset of residential development. The remaining canals were dredged in the 1950's and 1960's to provide fill for residential lots and boat access to Roberts Bay and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. Since there is only one inlet to refresh the canal water through tidal exchange with Roberts Bay, the canals farthest upstream in the system undergo limited flushing. There is an advanced wastewater treatment plant that is permitted to discharge highly treated wastewater to the main canal. Although most of the shoreline has been hardened by vertical, concrete seawalls that limit shoreline habitat value, there are some unaltered areas that provide significant mangrove habitat. Wading birds, manatees, dolphins, shellfish, and numerous fish species are commonly seen throughout the canal system. Learn more about what constitutes a bay or estuary »

News and Events

No news or events have been posted yet. Be the first to submit news and events to the Water Atlas.

Associated Names

There are no associated names for this body of water.

Bay Condition Reports

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.

Click here for a comparison of the eight major bay systems that comprise Sarasota's coastal watersheds.

Or view individual, yearly reports:

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Map Legend

Water Quality Sampling Sites
Hydrology Sampling Sites
Other Sampling Sites

Data Summary

Data Summary Icon

This water resource is monitored by 10 sampling locations, which have collected a total of 5,234 samples ranging from 1/11/1971 to 8/29/2016. The sites sampling this water resource are:


Water Resource Characteristics

Waterbody Characteristics

Size and Volume

Surface Area 89.98 acres


Watershed Sarasota Bay Watershed
Latitude Not Available
Longitude Not Available
Learn more about Location Information »

Tributaries and Passes


    Watersheds and Drainage Basins

    Watersheds and Drainage Basins Icon

    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 »

    Grand Canal is located within the Sarasota Bay Watershed.

    Specific drainage basins within this watershed include:

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    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
    1-850-488-5600 (to report an accident) or
    1-888-404-3922 (to report unsafe boating)

    Algal Blooms


    Fish Kill

    FWCC, Fish Kills

    General Concerns/Complaints


    Sarasota County

    Industrial Waste/Spill


    Injured Wildlife or Illegal Activities

    FWCC, Wildlife Violations
    or via cell phone, dial *FWC or #FWC depending on service carrier

    Shoreline Alterations, Wetland Impacts


    Aquatic Plant Removal

    1-813-744-6163 or 6164

    Water Pollution, Residuals Landspreading

    1-813-632-7600 or via cell phone, dial #DEP

    Wetlands Issues/Dredge and Fill


    Source(s): USF Water Institute

    FWCC - Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
    FDEP - Florida Department of Enviromental Protection

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      Nautical Charts

      Nautical Charts Icon

      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.

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        Report Water Pollution


        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 »

        To Report Water Pollution:

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        Get Involved


        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 Grand Canal have submitted a water quality sample for this water resource within the last 18 months.

        Become a Volunteer! Click here to sign up for volunteering.

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