Sarasota County Water Atlas

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Sarasota Bay Watershed

Sarasota Bay Watershed


The Sarasota Bay Watershed spans a total of 161.4 square miles, 60% of which lies within Sarasota County. The area within the county, totaling 96.4 square miles, is the only portion of the watershed for which information is available on the Sarasota County Water Atlas. The watershed contains 176 named lakes/ponds, 31 named rivers/streams/canals and 12 named bays/bayous.

Watershed Management Plan

A watershed management plan defines and addresses existing or future water quality problems.

Experience has shown that effective watershed management includes active participation from stakeholders, analysis of the specific causes and sources of water quality problems, identification of measurable water quality goals, and implementation of specific actions needed to solve those problems.

View Management Plans for Sarasota Watersheds »

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Map Legend

Water Quality Sampling Sites
Hydrology Sampling Sites
Other Sampling Sites

Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team

Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) Logo

The Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) concept is based on the idea of promoting neighborhood involvement in environmentally friendly projects to protect and restore our water resources. The NEST program projects focus on providing watershed education and getting neighbors involved in activities that improve their neighborhoods and enhance their watershed. The program goal is to help citizens and neighborhoods become advocates and champions for the watersheds they live in. The NEST program was developed in response to a need to get citizens and the general public better educated and more involved in the management and protection of the water resources of Sarasota County.

Below are NEST sites found in the Sarasota Bay Watershed


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 »

Specific drainage basins within this watershed include:

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The map below has icons denoting the locations of weather observation sites used by near Sarasota Bay Watershed (highlighted in blue). Click on an icon for a weather summary which includes current temperature, cloud conditions, humidity level, wind speed/direction, today's high and low temperature forecast, and summary forecast for the next four days. data is a service of The Weather Channel, a 24-hour, 7-day network providing weather information via cable TV, internet, and radio.

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    Rainfall amounts vary widely over short distances in Florida and are typically recorded at numerous locations by multiple agencies. This table provides a rough comparison of the total rainfall within each watershed/drainage basin in the area. Learn more about rainfall »
      Month-to-Date Total Historic Monthly Average Year-to-Date Total Historic 12 Month Average Total Data as of  
    Sarasota Bay Watershed 0.11 in. 2.52 in. 3.85 in. 52.92 in. 4/28/2017
    Source(s): Mote Marine Laboratory Weather and Tide Data   Sarasota County Automated Rainfall Management System   SWFWMD Hydrologic Data Section Data   SWFWMD Hydrologic Data Section Data   USGS National Water Information System  
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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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        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 »

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

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