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Sarasota Bay Condition Report for 2014

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Pass

3 out of 3 indicators were rated as PASS.

All three indicators must pass
for the bay to be rated as PASS.

Learn more about how this report is created

Summary:

The overall health in Sarasota Bay has remained high. Water quality metrics remained relatively constant, with chlorophyll a decreasing slightly and nitrogen and phosphorus edging upward.

Water Quality: All three water quality indicators (chlorophyll a, nitrogen, and phosphorus) were rated as excellent (below their respective targets). The mean for chlorophyll a was calculated as an arithmetic mean and the means for nitrogen and phosphorus were calculated as geometric means (per the Numeric Nutrient Criteria outlined in the Florida Administrative Code, section 62-302.532). Mean chlorophyll a concentration was 0.0045 mg/l, below the target value of 0.0052 mg/l. The mean concentration of total nitrogen increased slightly to 0.3901 mg/l, still below its target value of 0.490 mg/l calculated in 2010*. Mean phosphorus concentration increased very slightly as well, but at 0.0588 mg/l, was well below its target value of 0.150 mg/l.

Biotic Indicator: A survey of the biotic indicator, seagrass, was performed in 2014 by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. In 2014, the total area of seagrass in the lower portion of Sarasota Bay (the area within Sarasota County) was estimated to be 3,397 acres. The total for the whole of Sarasota Bay was estimated to be 10,261 acres, well above the target threshold of 7,269 acres.

*A new target value for nitrogen has not been defined for Sarasota Bay because insufficient color data exist to perform the necessary calculation.

Bay Location Map

Bays included in this report:

Water Chemistry Ratings

Total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and chlorophyll a levels are monitored carefully by water resource managers and used by regulatory authorities to determine whether a bay meets the water quality standards mandated by the Clean Water Act. The trend graphs for these indicators are shown below, along with their target and threshold values. A target value is a desirable goal to be attained, while a threshold is an undesirable level which is to be avoided. Learn More about these ratings and how they are calculated »

The Five-year Trend Graphs below illustrate the general trend of water quality parameters. They show a six-month running average, which moderates high and low values in the data.

Excellent

Chlorophyll a

Score: Excellent How was this determined?
Units: mg/l Year
2014
Historical
period of record
High 0.0226 0.049
Mean 0.0045 0.0048 0.0041065 0.0052000000
Low 0.0008 0.0002
No. of Samples 245 3,963

Five-year Trend Graph

     
1/1/20102.31200.0023100mg/l
2/1/20102.63220.0024700mg/l
3/1/20101.79190.0022400mg/l
4/1/20102.30200.0022600mg/l
5/1/20107.38210.0032800mg/l
6/1/20108.68200.0041800mg/l
7/1/20106.12210.0048200mg/l
8/1/20108.64230.0058200mg/l
9/1/20109.32210.0070700mg/l
10/1/20105.65200.0076300mg/l
11/1/20105.43210.0073100mg/l
12/1/20102.87160.0063400mg/l
1/1/20112.24240.0056900mg/l
2/1/20113.54220.0048400mg/l
3/1/20112.61160.0037200mg/l
4/1/20113.61230.0033800mg/l
5/1/20113.55220.0030700mg/l
6/1/20114.19200.0032900mg/l
7/1/20113.49200.0035000mg/l
8/1/20119.41210.0044800mg/l
9/1/20114.91160.0048600mg/l
10/1/20114.65160.0050300mg/l
11/1/20113.09210.0049600mg/l
12/1/20112.26200.0046400mg/l
1/1/20123.52200.0046400mg/l
2/1/20123.87220.0037200mg/l
3/1/20123.99160.0035600mg/l
4/1/20123.10240.0033100mg/l
5/1/20122.38160.0031900mg/l
6/1/20129.31260.0043600mg/l
7/1/20124.78200.0045700mg/l
8/1/20127.97220.0052600mg/l
9/1/20125.87210.0055700mg/l
10/1/20124.71200.0058400mg/l
11/1/20123.78210.0060700mg/l
12/1/20123.66160.0051300mg/l
1/1/20134.23240.0050400mg/l
2/1/20132.35220.0041000mg/l
3/1/20134.33160.0038400mg/l
4/1/20133.99260.0037200mg/l
5/1/20133.92210.0037500mg/l
6/1/20136.69220.0042500mg/l
7/1/20134.21210.0042500mg/l
8/1/20136.06200.0048700mg/l
9/1/20135.52160.0050700mg/l
10/1/20137.10250.0055800mg/l
11/1/20134.17160.0056300mg/l
12/1/20133.82250.0051500mg/l
1/1/20142.96160.0049400mg/l
2/1/20142.47250.0043400mg/l
3/1/20142.43200.0038300mg/l
4/1/20143.54210.0032300mg/l
5/1/20143.06160.0030500mg/l
6/1/20145.28250.0032900mg/l
7/1/20148.24200.0041700mg/l
8/1/20145.37160.0046500mg/l
9/1/20146.78160.0053800mg/l
10/1/20144.60300.0055600mg/l
11/1/20143.18210.0055800mg/l
12/1/20146.13210.0057200mg/l
Loading Chart...
Target
0.0052 mg/l
Threshold
0.0061 mg/l
Excellent

Nitrogen, Total

Score: Excellent How was this determined?
Units: mg/l Year
2014
Historical
period of record
High 0.90 1.87
Mean 0.3901 0.19182627 0.5100000000
Low 0.04 0.03
No. of Samples 244 3,772

Five-year Trend Graph

     
1/1/2010330.30200.3303000mg/l
2/1/2010358.95220.3446300mg/l
3/1/2010219.38160.3028800mg/l
4/1/2010529.05200.3594200mg/l
5/1/2010384.29210.3643900mg/l
6/1/2010512.50200.3890800mg/l
7/1/2010380.35200.3974200mg/l
8/1/2010429.45220.4091700mg/l
9/1/2010499.70200.4558900mg/l
10/1/2010373.00200.4298800mg/l
11/1/2010650.57210.4742600mg/l
12/1/2010289.69160.4371300mg/l
1/1/2011229.63240.4120100mg/l
2/1/2011323.33210.3943200mg/l
3/1/2011393.75160.3766600mg/l
4/1/2011397.08240.3806800mg/l
5/1/2011421.05210.3424200mg/l
6/1/2011469.50200.3723900mg/l
7/1/2011390.00200.3991200mg/l
8/1/2011487.14210.4264200mg/l
9/1/2011461.88160.4377800mg/l
10/1/2011295.63160.4208700mg/l
11/1/2011429.05210.4222000mg/l
12/1/2011409.00200.4121200mg/l
1/1/2012354.50200.4062000mg/l
2/1/2012413.33210.3939000mg/l
3/1/2012440.63160.3903600mg/l
4/1/2012504.17240.4251100mg/l
5/1/2012280.00160.4002700mg/l
6/1/2012443.20250.4059700mg/l
7/1/2012317.50200.3998100mg/l
8/1/2012383.57210.3948500mg/l
9/1/2012361.00200.3815700mg/l
10/1/2012416.00200.3668800mg/l
11/1/2012375.14210.3827400mg/l
12/1/2012246.06160.3498800mg/l
1/1/2013347.92240.3549500mg/l
2/1/2013260.48210.3344300mg/l
3/1/2013251.88160.3162500mg/l
4/1/2013357.92240.3065700mg/l
5/1/2013412.38210.3127700mg/l
6/1/2013410.50200.3401800mg/l
7/1/2013389.50200.3471100mg/l
8/1/2013482.00200.3840300mg/l
9/1/2013520.63160.4288200mg/l
10/1/2013406.00250.4368400mg/l
11/1/2013492.00160.4501100mg/l
12/1/2013322.40250.4354200mg/l
1/1/2014366.25160.4315500mg/l
2/1/2014419.60250.4211500mg/l
3/1/2014369.50200.3959600mg/l
4/1/2014302.70200.3787400mg/l
5/1/2014351.25160.3552800mg/l
6/1/2014456.80250.3776800mg/l
7/1/2014393.50200.3822300mg/l
8/1/2014506.88160.3967700mg/l
9/1/2014535.63160.4244600mg/l
10/1/2014405.17290.4415400mg/l
11/1/2014424.10210.4536800mg/l
12/1/2014445.00200.4517100mg/l
Loading Chart...
Target
0.51 mg/l
Threshold
0.822 mg/l
Targets and thresholds shown on this graph are advisory approximations computed by Sarasota County using recent data. Regulatory thresholds have not been established. Learn more about Sarasota Bay Nitrogen targets/thresholds »
Excellent

Phosphorus, Total

Score: Excellent How was this determined?
Units: mg/l Year
2014
Historical
period of record
High 0.14 4.40
Mean 0.0588 0.14231533 0.1500000000
Low 0.05 0.002
No. of Samples 244 3,881

Five-year Trend Graph

     
1/1/201051.20200.0512000mg/l
2/1/201051.76170.0514800mg/l
3/1/201050.00160.0509900mg/l
4/1/201050.00160.0507400mg/l
5/1/201052.50160.0510900mg/l
6/1/2010123.80200.0632100mg/l
7/1/201058.70200.0644600mg/l
8/1/201056.36220.0652300mg/l
9/1/201057.70200.0665100mg/l
10/1/201051.20200.0667100mg/l
11/1/201080.45220.0713700mg/l
12/1/201066.25160.0617800mg/l
1/1/201164.75240.0627900mg/l
2/1/201152.09220.0620700mg/l
3/1/201152.50160.0612100mg/l
4/1/201154.92240.0618300mg/l
5/1/201152.38210.0571500mg/l
6/1/201155.70200.0553900mg/l
7/1/201151.20200.0531300mg/l
8/1/201172.19210.0564800mg/l
9/1/201153.13160.0565900mg/l
10/1/201150.00160.0557700mg/l
11/1/201151.88160.0556800mg/l
12/1/2011216.50200.0824800mg/l
1/1/201273.50200.0862000mg/l
2/1/201262.00220.0845000mg/l
3/1/201253.13160.0845000mg/l
4/1/2012160.00240.1028400mg/l
5/1/201250.63160.1026300mg/l
6/1/201270.15260.0782400mg/l
7/1/201263.30200.0765400mg/l
8/1/201266.86210.0773500mg/l
9/1/2012100.10210.0851700mg/l
10/1/201291.00200.0736700mg/l
11/1/201257.14210.0747600mg/l
12/1/201261.88160.0733800mg/l
1/1/201352.00240.0715000mg/l
2/1/201351.90210.0690000mg/l
3/1/201376.25160.0650300mg/l
4/1/2013102.38260.0669300mg/l
5/1/201352.38210.0661300mg/l
6/1/201356.20200.0651900mg/l
7/1/201359.20200.0663900mg/l
8/1/201356.40200.0671400mg/l
9/1/201361.88160.0647400mg/l
10/1/201354.16250.0567000mg/l
11/1/201353.75160.0569300mg/l
12/1/2013123.12250.0680900mg/l
1/1/201452.50160.0669700mg/l
2/1/201452.56250.0663300mg/l
3/1/201452.70200.0648000mg/l
4/1/201454.20200.0648100mg/l
5/1/201463.13160.0663700mg/l
6/1/201462.56250.0562800mg/l
7/1/201476.20200.0602300mg/l
8/1/201461.88160.0617800mg/l
9/1/201465.00160.0638300mg/l
10/1/201468.21290.0661600mg/l
11/1/201460.95210.0658000mg/l
12/1/201451.20200.0639100mg/l
Loading Chart...
Target
0.15 mg/l
Threshold
0.19 mg/l

Dissolved Oxygen

Units: mg/l Year
2014
Historical
period of record
High 103.60 103.60
Mean 7.14 6.71 1.59669
Low 3.80 1.48
No. of Samples 234 15,045

Five-year Trend Graph

     
1/1/20108.64198.6400000mg/l
2/1/20107.53538.0900000mg/l
3/1/20107.03647.7300000mg/l
4/1/20106.68777.4700000mg/l
5/1/20107.73887.5200000mg/l
6/1/20107.48417.5200000mg/l
7/1/20103.84526.7200000mg/l
8/1/20107.25546.6700000mg/l
9/1/20105.541536.4200000mg/l
10/1/20106.85196.4500000mg/l
11/1/20107.101066.3400000mg/l
12/1/20108.19156.4600000mg/l
1/1/20118.13237.1800000mg/l
2/1/20115.42536.8700000mg/l
3/1/20115.03556.7900000mg/l
4/1/20115.15536.5000000mg/l
5/1/20115.21536.1900000mg/l
6/1/20114.72585.6100000mg/l
7/1/20116.11195.2700000mg/l
8/1/20115.78205.3300000mg/l
9/1/20114.241575.2000000mg/l
10/1/20116.711155.4600000mg/l
11/1/20117.24215.8000000mg/l
12/1/20117.56196.2700000mg/l
1/1/20128.55196.6800000mg/l
2/1/20127.22206.9200000mg/l
3/1/20127.56217.4700000mg/l
4/1/20127.52517.6100000mg/l
5/1/20125.56477.3300000mg/l
6/1/20126.83247.2100000mg/l
7/1/20126.12196.8000000mg/l
8/1/20125.84216.5700000mg/l
9/1/20126.15206.3400000mg/l
10/1/20126.08196.1000000mg/l
11/1/20126.89216.3200000mg/l
12/1/20127.04156.3500000mg/l
1/1/20137.41236.5700000mg/l
2/1/20137.99206.9300000mg/l
3/1/20136.58467.0000000mg/l
4/1/20137.56237.2500000mg/l
5/1/20136.41207.1700000mg/l
6/1/20135.44696.9000000mg/l
7/1/20136.04196.6700000mg/l
8/1/20135.78196.3000000mg/l
9/1/20136.02156.2100000mg/l
10/1/20136.90296.1000000mg/l
11/1/20136.57166.1300000mg/l
12/1/20137.61246.4900000mg/l
1/1/20147.06156.6600000mg/l
2/1/20147.95247.0200000mg/l
3/1/20147.40197.2500000mg/l
4/1/20147.12207.2900000mg/l
5/1/20146.91157.3400000mg/l
6/1/20146.39247.1400000mg/l
7/1/20145.75196.9200000mg/l
8/1/20144.60156.3600000mg/l
9/1/20145.70156.0800000mg/l
10/1/201410.08286.5700000mg/l
11/1/20147.33206.6400000mg/l
12/1/20147.02206.7500000mg/l
Loading Chart...
Target
mg/l
Threshold
0.00 mg/l

Light Attenuation

Units: K(1/m) Year
2014
Historical
period of record
High 5.68 5.68
Mean 0.68 0.69 0.32095
Low 0.20 0.05
No. of Samples 222 2,920

Five-year Trend Graph

     
1/1/20100.74150.7400000K(1/m)
2/1/20100.78150.7600000K(1/m)
3/1/20100.47150.6600000K(1/m)
4/1/20100.61150.6500000K(1/m)
5/1/20100.08150.5400000K(1/m)
6/1/20100.78150.5800000K(1/m)
7/1/20100.71150.5700000K(1/m)
8/1/20100.65140.5500000K(1/m)
9/1/20100.78150.6000000K(1/m)
10/1/20100.65150.6100000K(1/m)
11/1/20100.98150.7600000K(1/m)
12/1/20100.90150.7800000K(1/m)
1/1/20110.64150.7700000K(1/m)
2/1/20110.88120.8100000K(1/m)
3/1/20110.70150.7900000K(1/m)
4/1/20110.60150.7800000K(1/m)
5/1/20110.55150.7100000K(1/m)
6/1/20110.50150.6500000K(1/m)
7/1/20110.48150.6200000K(1/m)
8/1/20110.97150.6300000K(1/m)
9/1/20110.73150.6400000K(1/m)
10/1/20110.61150.6400000K(1/m)
11/1/20110.61150.6500000K(1/m)
12/1/20110.49150.6500000K(1/m)
1/1/20120.73190.6900000K(1/m)
2/1/20120.68210.6400000K(1/m)
3/1/20120.73150.6400000K(1/m)
4/1/20120.64220.6500000K(1/m)
5/1/20120.47150.6200000K(1/m)
6/1/20120.71250.6600000K(1/m)
7/1/20120.73190.6600000K(1/m)
8/1/20120.64210.6500000K(1/m)
9/1/20120.88200.6800000K(1/m)
10/1/20120.76190.7000000K(1/m)
11/1/20120.75210.7500000K(1/m)
12/1/20120.92150.7800000K(1/m)
1/1/20130.68150.7700000K(1/m)
2/1/20130.71210.7800000K(1/m)
3/1/20130.69150.7500000K(1/m)
4/1/20130.43150.7000000K(1/m)
5/1/20130.62150.6800000K(1/m)
6/1/20130.71200.6400000K(1/m)
7/1/20130.64190.6300000K(1/m)
8/1/20130.58190.6100000K(1/m)
9/1/20130.88150.6400000K(1/m)
10/1/20130.79240.7000000K(1/m)
11/1/20130.67150.7100000K(1/m)
12/1/20130.63230.7000000K(1/m)
1/1/20140.55150.6800000K(1/m)
2/1/20140.73250.7100000K(1/m)
3/1/20140.52190.6500000K(1/m)
4/1/20140.74150.6400000K(1/m)
5/1/20140.49150.6100000K(1/m)
6/1/20140.68240.6200000K(1/m)
7/1/20140.57150.6200000K(1/m)
8/1/20140.59150.6000000K(1/m)
9/1/20140.60150.6100000K(1/m)
10/1/20140.73290.6100000K(1/m)
11/1/20140.93200.6800000K(1/m)
12/1/20141.00150.7400000K(1/m)
Loading Chart...
Target
K(1/m)
Threshold
0.00 K(1/m)

Salinity

Units: PSS Year
2014
Historical
period of record
High 36.40 42.30
Mean 33.8 33.19 2.37364
Low 28.70 3.60
No. of Samples 235 16,576

Five-year Trend Graph

     
1/1/201033.611933.6100000PSS
2/1/201032.085232.8500000PSS
3/1/201031.166432.2800000PSS
4/1/201033.487732.5800000PSS
5/1/201036.248633.3100000PSS
6/1/201036.204133.8000000PSS
7/1/201032.835233.6700000PSS
8/1/201033.535233.9100000PSS
9/1/201032.4715234.1300000PSS
10/1/201034.161934.2400000PSS
11/1/201036.559834.2900000PSS
12/1/201033.801533.8900000PSS
1/1/201131.392233.6500000PSS
2/1/201131.125233.2500000PSS
3/1/201132.945533.3300000PSS
4/1/201131.905332.9500000PSS
5/1/201132.905332.3400000PSS
6/1/201134.155932.4000000PSS
7/1/201134.471932.9100000PSS
8/1/201135.602033.6600000PSS
9/1/201132.7715733.6300000PSS
10/1/201133.9011333.9700000PSS
11/1/201134.412134.2200000PSS
12/1/201134.361934.2500000PSS
1/1/201234.691934.2900000PSS
2/1/201234.952134.1800000PSS
3/1/201235.512134.6400000PSS
4/1/201236.175035.0200000PSS
5/1/201235.544735.2000000PSS
6/1/201229.992434.4800000PSS
7/1/201233.921934.3500000PSS
8/1/201233.902034.1700000PSS
9/1/201234.052033.9300000PSS
10/1/201234.291933.6200000PSS
11/1/201233.592033.2900000PSS
12/1/201234.311534.0100000PSS
1/1/201333.632333.9600000PSS
2/1/201334.732034.1000000PSS
3/1/201334.791534.2200000PSS
4/1/201330.132333.5300000PSS
5/1/201335.232033.8000000PSS
6/1/201335.466834.0000000PSS
7/1/201332.151933.7500000PSS
8/1/201332.391933.3600000PSS
9/1/201330.521532.6500000PSS
10/1/201333.994333.2900000PSS
11/1/201333.121532.9400000PSS
12/1/201333.222432.5700000PSS
1/1/201433.311532.7600000PSS
2/1/201432.972432.8600000PSS
3/1/201433.931933.4200000PSS
4/1/201433.172033.2900000PSS
5/1/201433.081533.2800000PSS
6/1/201435.042433.5800000PSS
7/1/201435.462033.9400000PSS
8/1/201435.631534.3900000PSS
9/1/201435.571534.6600000PSS
10/1/201432.632834.5700000PSS
11/1/201433.322034.6100000PSS
12/1/201432.442034.1800000PSS
Loading Chart...

Turbidity

Units: NTU Year
2014
Historical
period of record
High 21.00 39.00
Mean 2.69 2.64 2.4846
Low 0.30 0.03
No. of Samples 246 13,524

Five-year Trend Graph

     
1/1/20103.04203.0400000NTU
2/1/20103.83383.4400000NTU
3/1/20102.38413.0800000NTU
4/1/20102.53492.9500000NTU
5/1/20103.37543.0300000NTU
6/1/20103.30313.0800000NTU
7/1/20101.98362.9000000NTU
8/1/20102.42402.6600000NTU
9/1/20101.77872.5600000NTU
10/1/20102.03202.4800000NTU
11/1/20101.73652.2100000NTU
12/1/20102.89162.1400000NTU
1/1/20112.12242.1600000NTU
2/1/20114.30382.4700000NTU
3/1/20111.79362.4800000NTU
4/1/20112.58392.5700000NTU
5/1/20111.88362.5900000NTU
6/1/20111.94392.4400000NTU
7/1/20112.20202.4500000NTU
8/1/20113.00212.2300000NTU
9/1/20111.41872.1700000NTU
10/1/20111.65672.0100000NTU
11/1/20112.09212.0500000NTU
12/1/20112.46202.1400000NTU
1/1/20123.14202.2900000NTU
2/1/20123.45222.3700000NTU
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9/1/20123.60212.8900000NTU
10/1/20123.47203.0300000NTU
11/1/20122.08222.9900000NTU
12/1/20123.21162.9900000NTU
1/1/20133.56243.0300000NTU
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3/1/20135.92163.6000000NTU
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8/1/20131.99203.1200000NTU
9/1/20132.47162.5400000NTU
10/1/20132.00252.4500000NTU
11/1/20133.51162.4700000NTU
12/1/20132.23252.3900000NTU
1/1/20143.59162.6300000NTU
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3/1/20141.92202.4500000NTU
4/1/20144.73212.9100000NTU
5/1/20142.55162.7500000NTU
6/1/20142.06252.7200000NTU
7/1/20142.25202.5000000NTU
8/1/20143.01162.7500000NTU
9/1/20143.05162.9400000NTU
10/1/20142.22292.5200000NTU
11/1/20141.98212.4300000NTU
12/1/20144.42202.8200000NTU
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Other Measures of Bay Health

In addition to nutrient levels and chlorophyll concentration, dissolved oxygen levels, and water clarity are also objective indicators of bay health. These have complex interactive cycles which are affected by rainfall, temperature, and tidal action, as well as other factors. High nutrient levels (nitrogen and phosphorus) can stimulate excessive growth of marine algae (indicated by chlorophyll a level), resulting in reduced water clarity (and increased light attenuation) and depleted oxygen levels. Both plants and animals in a bay need oxygen to survive, and the seagrasses which provide food and cover for bay creatures need light for photosynthesis.

Bay Contour Maps (2014)

Contour mapping is one of the best ways to visualize spatial differences in coastal water quality. The interactive map shown below presents monthly data for one selected water quality indicator atop an aerial view of the bay. Choose a different water quality parameter from the list at the top to change the map. Learn More about Water Quality Contour Mapping »

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Contour Visibility:

Visit the Water Quality Contour Mapping Tool to view and compare monthly water quality contour maps for ten different water quality indicators. In addition, you can generate your own custom maps.

Contour Legend:

  • Less than 1 mg/l
  • 1.0 - 5.9 mg/l
  • 6.0 - 10.9 mg/l
  • 11.0 - 17.9 mg/l
  • Greater than 18 mg/l

Seagrasses

Among the most important habitats in Florida's estuarine environments, seagrass beds are indispensable for the role they play in cycling nutrients, supplying food for wildlife, stabilizing sediments, and providing habitat for juvenile and adult finfish and shellfish. Use the interactive map below to observe the size, density and location of seagrass beds from year to year. The graph shows how the total amount of seagrass in the bay has changed over time. Learn More about Seagrasses »

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Target
2,022 acres

Land Use / Land Cover

Land use within a bay's watershed has a major effect on its water quality. In general, less development means better water quality. Land Cover/Land Use classifications categorize land in terms of its observed physical surface characteristics (upland or wetland, e.g.), and also reflect the types of activity that are taking place on it (agriculture, urban/built-up, utilities, etc.). Florida uses as its standard a set of statewide classifications which were developed by the Florida Department of Transportation. Learn More about Land Use and Land Cover »

Sarasota Bay is located within the Sarasota Bay Watershed. The chart below shows the land use / land cover characteristics for Sarasota Bay Watershed within the boundary of this Water Atlas. View details about the Sarasota Bay Watershed »

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