This blog is dedicated to the environmental well-being of our Florida coastal habitat.

This blog is
dedicated to the environmental well-being of coastal habitat.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Red-necked pelican from California spotted by John Sarkozy.
(Thanks to Heather Booth for photo) 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sarasita Bay Estuary Program 2013 GRANT APPLICATIONS DUE MARCH 1

SARASOTA, FL – The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is accepting applications for the 2013 Bay Partner Grants Program with a deadline of March 1. The purpose of the annual program is to promote environmental education, community involvement and stewardship to improve the overall quality of Sarasota Bay and its tributaries. Organizations can receive up to $3,000 for projects that benefit Sarasota Bay. SBEP has awarded $213,000 in grants to more than 100 organizations since 2002.

Schools, businesses, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, churches, and civic groups in Sarasota and Manatee counties are eligible. The watershed boundaries are from Anna Maria Sound to the Venice Inlet as well as all of the barrier islands. Some of the prior projects have included wildlife gardens and landscaping featuring Florida native plants, micro-irrigation projects, land contouring to create bioswales, signs that promote Bay-stewardship, and education programs.    

Bay Partner Grant applications must be received at the SBEP offices by 4pm on Friday, March 1 to be eligible. Applications can be emailed as a Word document or PDF file to Sara Kane at You can learn more about the grant program online by visiting the Get Involved page on the SBEP website at The website also lists the eight grant projects that were funded for 2012. Inquires are welcome at 941-955-8085 or

Friday, February 1, 2013

This just in from the Audubon Society....

Stay Engaged to the Gulf Restoration Process in Florida

Help make conservation a priority, sign-up for this eNewsletter right now.

Fiddler Crabs by RJ Wiley
Fiddler Crabs by RJ Wiley
Welcome to the inaugural edition of RESTORE Florida’s Gulf – the eNewsletter dedicated to tracking the Gulf restoration process in Florida in the wake of the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill disaster.
You are receiving this eNewsletter as an introduction, but you will need to SIGN UP to continue to receive regular updates in the future. Please click here and add your name to RESTORE Florida’s Gulf.

What is the RESTORE Act?

The RESTORE Act dedicates 80 percent of all administrative and civil penalties related to the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster to a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund and outlines a structure by which the funds can be utilized to restore and protect the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast region.
Three major “pots” of funds are addressed in the RESTORE Act: the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council pot (30%), the equal-share state pot (35%), and the impact-based state pot (30%).
For more information on trust fund resources, please click here.

Why is the restoration process so important?

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Oil on a Pensacola Beach, June 2010.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster had major impacts on the environment and wildlife of the Gulf of Mexico. Through the RESTORE Act, Floridians have the opportunity of a lifetime to restore the health of the Gulf's water, beaches, and marshes and the shorebirds and sea life make this ecosystem their home.
The signing of the RESTORE Act in July 2012 set the framework for what is anticipated to be the largest environmental restoration trust fund in history. Restoration of the Gulf of Mexico will be financed by funds from court cases and settlements related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Audubon Advocates, nature-lovers, and concerned citizens will have a variety of ways to influence how the funds are spent. Sign-up for this eNewsletter right now to receive information on how you can participate in breaking advocacy issues and local events.

What's the latest information?

Honeymoon Island
On January 29, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council released The Path Forward to Restoring the Gulf: A Proposed Comprehensive Plan.
This is the Council’s first step in developing a comprehensive plan to ensure the long-term health, prosperity and resilience of the Gulf Coast. The Council knows that collaboration with the residents of the Gulf is essential to restoring the Gulf of Mexico. Public hearings are anticipated for all Gulf States, probably in late February and again in April-May.
You will be able to participate in many of these hearings; dates and locations will be announced on our website 
The Path Forward incorporates the findings and recommendations of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, including 5 restoration goals:
  1. Restore and conserve habitat;
  2. Restore water quality;
  3. Replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources; 
  4. Enhance community resilience; and
  5. Restore and revitalize the Gulf economy. 
The plan will include a three-year list of projects based on criteria in the RESTORE Act. Your voice, at the local and regional levels, is important to help guide which projects will be included on the list.
Make sure you are subscribed to this eNewsletter to receive information on how you can participate in breaking advocacy issues and local events. Together we will make a difference!