The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) and the City of Sarasota are installing a living shoreline area at Bay Front Park in downtown Sarasota. The project features 150-feet of Florida-native plants. The use of plants will help stabilize the sediments and provide habitat that attract birds and other wildlife. Living shorelines provide a natural alternative to hardened sea walls made of concrete, rock and other materials. The use of plants and sloping shorelines also provides a buffer for stromwater pollution running into local waterways.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District provided funding support for the new project and Stantec is the contractor. SBEP and its partners completed the region’s first living shoreline project in 2011 at Herb Dolan Park in Bradenton Beach. Concrete rubble was removed from the site and replaced with natural fiber material and native vegetation. The SBEP website at sarasotabay.org provides more information about living shorelines.
The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program is dedicated to restoring the area's greatest natural asset—Sarasota Bay. Its unique program strives to improve water quality, increase habitat and enhance the natural resources of the area for use and enjoyment by the public. Sarasota Bay is one of 28 protected estuaries in the U.S. The SBEP was founded in 1989 and its partners include Sarasota County, Manatee County, City of Sarasota, City of Bradenton, Town of Longboat Key, Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.