The new report is now available Sarasota Bay Estuary ProgramIt indicates that the bay’s water quality is generally good.
In most areas of the bay, there was an increase of water transparency. This is an important component in the development of healthy seagrass.
Director of Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Dave Tomasko admits that it may seem counterintuitive because of the recent loss to seagrass beds.
He explained that seagrasses are more likely to disappear than reappear. It is much easier to lose 2,000 acres than to recover it. Seagrass cannot be made to recover unless it is healthy.
The environmental group created a health initiative in 2021. Report cardYou can track water quality in each of the five bay segments.
It showed improvement despite the persistent effects of severe red seas in 2016 and 2018, and Hurricane Irma in 2017.
To assess conditions, researchers used four measurements. The researchers used four measurements to create the report card. They compared the indicators for a given year with a reference period from 2006-2012, when water quality and seagrass coverage were generally good across all bay segments.
The bay’s southern portion is where you will see the greatest recovery.
Tomasko attributes the improvement to better wastewater management.
He said that in the past, there were overflows from a wastewater treatment facility that treated hundreds of millions of gallons high-nutrient wastewater. This hasn’t happened in a while. Local governments and their partner have really upped their game, and we’re now seeing huge improvements in how we treat wastewater and stormwater.
Tomasko states that the water quality in Sarasota Bay’s upper portion has also improved. However, recovery of the seagrass beds will take longer because of losses from the Piney Point Phosphate Plant and earlier red tide events.