Florida has a rich heritage and diversity of natural resources that provide the quality of life tens of millions of year-round and “snowbird” seasonal residents, as well as spectacular experiences for its 83,900,000 annual tourists (2006 data). Natural resources can be understood as the Natural Capitalism that earns the dividends to provide our quality of life, prosperous economies, and long-term sustainability. To live in harmony with the Florida environment, we all need to be aware of how our lives intersect with and affect it.

Sarasota County has demonstrated a commitment to stewardship of natural resources and is a recognized leader by its progressive efforts. The conservation of our natural resources offers a practical way of "thinking globally and acting locally" to responsibly address challenges such as global warming and regional water shortages. To this end, Sarasota County Extension offers information and programs about the animal and plant species that live here, as well as the native ecosystems of the coasts, estuaries, forests, swamps, lakes, hammocks, and wetlands that make our state unique, so you can enjoy--and help preserve--these treasures. This education strives to empower you to acquire the necessary tools to participate fully at the local, county and state levels and in support of individual to community-based efforts.

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Suncoast chapter of Master Naturalists

Master Naturalist graduates of Charlotte and Sarasota County: Come one, come all! Are you interested in forming a Suncoast regional Master Naturalist chapter? Are you interested in attending exciting educational outings with other Master Naturalists? Would you like an opportunity to share what you have learned with others by volunteering to assist with environmental education programs? Have you graduated from at least one Master Naturalist


Conservation District sets public working group meeting

The Sarasota Soil and Water Conservation District has set an August 17 working group meeting to discuss local resource conservation concerns and programs. The meeting, which is open to the public, will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Ken Clark Auditorium of the Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota. Local farmers, forest land owners, and other land users are encouraged to attend. The district serves as local coordinator


“Resource Conservation” partner applications open

Landowners interested in conserving natural habitat for gopher tortoises, Florida panthers and other endangered species are invited to apply for technical and financial assistance. The Natural Resources Conservation Service project aims to restore, maintain or provide habitat across a sweeping area that includes much of eastern Sarasota County and southeastern Manatee County, while sustaining continued economic development, recreation, and