The county hosted the third annual Seagrass Survey on April 29 at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron.
Despite the wind blowing across Sarasota Bay, citizen volunteers jumped right in the slightly choppy water.
They had a job to do. Sarasota County hosted the third annual Seagrass Survey on April 29. Around 9 a.m., volunteers headed out on the water to their assigned hectagon to count and identify seagrass species in order to collect data for the county’s Seagrass Monitoring Program.
Seagrasses help maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems, stabilize the shorelines and provide food and shelter to a variety of wildlife.
“Seagrass is one of the premiere habitats of the bay, and so our juvenile fish spend part of their life cycle in the seagrass beds,” Executive Director of the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Mark Alderson said.
Even though this was only the third annual public survey, the Sarasota Estuary Bay Program started evaluating seagrasses in 1988, Alderson said.
Along with the seagrass survey, the event included live music and booths with interactive demonstrations, crafts and games from the Sarasota Bay Watch, the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, Mote Marine Laboratory, the Longboat Key Turtle Watch and others.