The Science and Environment Council’s Watershed Audio Tour is the first of its kind in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. By dialing (941) 926-6813 and entering a stop number, you can hear 32 different informative messages about Southwest Florida’s spectacular environment. From land conservation to living shorelines, from seagrass to salterns, the tour stops explain the importance of our watersheds and how to protect them.
While you can dial and listen to the messages free from anywhere, visiting the sites listed on the menu provides an up-close and personal experience. For example, discover why mangroves are so important to our ecosystem while strolling along the mangrove-lined boardwalk at Historic Spanish Point. By listening to these informative messages, you’ll discover diverse aspects of the watershed, learn interesting facts, and easy ways you can help protect the watershed. For instance, learn how litter and pollution affect sealife, understand the role of wetlands in preventing downstream flooding and pollution, and find out about green roofs, or learn to make your own rain barrel.
But just what is a watershed anyway? In a nutshell, it is the land area on which rain falls then drains into a network of creeks, rivers, lakes, and bays. Why should you care? Because it’s all connected, what we do on the land determines the quality of our water bodies, large and small. This in turn, affects the quality of life for residents and visitors. Everyone who lives, works, and plays in Southwest Florida can take simple steps to make a difference when it comes to protecting our watersheds.
To help create public awareness about the watershed and the importance of this natural system, the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida (SEC), with partial funding from the Florida Beverage Association and Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, developed the free audio tour. Thirty-two unique watershed-related topics are highlighted on the tour and narrated by staff scientists at some of SEC’s twenty-nine member organizations.
For a map of tour stop locations and to listen on the web, visit the link below. Or dial (941) 926-6813 and choose from one of the following tour stops:
||Wetlands at Sarasota County’s Celery Fields
||Prescribed Burns at Oscar Scherer State Park
||Water Preservation at Crowley Museum and Nature Center
||Prehistoric Life on the River at Manatee County’s Emerson Point Preserve
||Ecosystems at Crowley Museum and Nature Center
||Exotic Plant Removal at Sarasota County’s Phillippi Estate Park
||Florida Pines at Myakka State Forest
||Footsteps of the Past at Manatee County’s Neal Preserve
||Water Quality at GWIZ The Science Museum
||Estuaries and Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
||Stormwater Retention at Sarasota County’s Celery Fields
||Living Shorelines and Sarasota Bay Estuary Program,
||Mangroves at Historic Spanish Point
||Land Conservation and Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast
||Tidal Lagoons at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
||Land Conservation at the Lemur Conservation Foundation
||Sea Grasses at Sarasota County’s Indian Mound Park at Lemon Bay
||Green Roofs at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
||Rookeries at Venice Audubon Society
||Red Bug Slough Preserve and Sarasota Environmental Lands
||Marine Life at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
||Rain Barrels & Cisterns at Florida House Learning Institute
||Manatee River Manatees at South Florida Museum
||Life Between the Tides at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
||Bay Neighbor Landscaping and New College of Florida
||Water Quantity and Aquarian Quest
||Sister Keys Restoration and Sarasota Bay Watch
||Tidal Creeks at Alligator Creek at Woodmere Park
||Tree Canopies at New College of Florida
||Wild and Scenic River at Myakka River State Park
||Salterns at Manatee County’s Robinson Preserve
||Pet Waste at Brohard Paw Park
SEC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to promote science-based environmental education, conservation and policy. Meet our Members and learn about our work at www.ScienceAndEnvironment.org.