Sarasota County conducts a water quality summit connecting scientists and the public

County leaders gather for water quality summit

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Sarasota County taking a stand against on the Suncoast water crisis. Scientists and engineers from around the state came together Wednesday for a water quality summit.

Director of Sarasota County’s UF/IFAS Extension Lee Hayes Byron says the purpose of this summit is to share the latest science and discuss the plan already in motion. “We’re going to talk about the science of wastewater as well as the projects related to wastewater. We’re talking about the science of the Eco-system as well as the science the goes into the Eco-system,” said Byron.

And points to Sarasota residents as being an integral factor in water quality improvement. “They can look at their own yard. Also, how much fertilizer and irrigation they use and what their landscaping company does. They can challenge them and ask what are you doing to reduce inputs. They can also make sure that leaf debris and acorns don’t end up in storm drains,” said Byron.

For Mote Marine Laboratory staff scientist Dr. Tracy Fanara, it’s important that everyone knows the part they play. “There is such a disconnect now between scientists and the public. Things like this really bridge that gap between scientist and communities,” said Fanara.

And for lawmakers to implement regulation moving forward. “Also put in place a plan to retrofit the damage we’ve already done. We need to treat nutrients and other pollutants at the source," said Fanara.

For more information about the water quality summit, visit Sarasota County’s website.

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