Mote Marine High School Intern Program Completes SBEP Bay Partner Grant Project
A group of 15 high school students with the Mote Marine Laboratory High School Internship Program recently completed a science learning project that was funded by a SBEP Bay Partners Grant. The effort included student participation in two cleanup projects at City Island and Quick Point Preserve, a biodiversity sampling of New Pass, and the presentation of sample findings to staff at Mote Marine Laboratory and family members.
Funding support from the SBEP grant helped the group purchase research tools including seine nets, dip nets, plankton nets, aerators, water quality test kits, microscopes, waders, and binoculars. Studying biodiversity within New Pass waters expanded student awareness about the importance of data collection, analysis, teamwork, research, and public speaking during the presentation of the findings.
The purpose of the SBEP Bay Partners Grant Program is to promote environmental education, awareness and stewardship that benefit Sarasota Bay and its tributaries. Funding is available for local projects that focus on Bay education, Bay restoration or Bay-friendly landscaping. SBEP has awarded more than $213,000 in support of 109 local grants since 2003. All of the grants require an education component that encourages Bay-friendly stewardship.
Businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, condo associations, and neighborhood associations located within the Sarasota Bay watershed in Sarasota and Manatee counties are eligible to apply for a grant each year. Organizations are considered for full or partial grants by a subcommittee with the SBEP Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).
Bay Partners Grant applications for the next fiscal year must be received at the SBEP offices by 4pm on Friday, March 1, 2013 to be eligible. Applications can be downloaded from the SBEP website at sarasotabay.org. The SBEP website also provides specific ideas for various projects. Inquires are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 estuaries in the United States that have been named by the U.S. Congress as an "estuary of national significance." Partners include Sarasota County, Manatee County, City of Sarasota, City of Bradenton, Town of Longboat Key, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Southwest Florida Water Management District, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.