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County opens wiki for public input on water-efficient landscaping

County opens wiki for public input on  water-efficient landscaping

Sarasota County is opening an online website on Monday, July 25, that will enable citizens to revise and make comments on the county’s Water-Efficient Landscaping Code.

The wiki will be open for revisions and comments until 5 p.m. Aug. 22. It’s available online at the Sarasota County website, www.scgov.net, or at the wiki website at http://wiki.scgov.net. The wiki page includes instructions for participation. After submitting a valid email address and agreeing to follow a civility code, users will be sent a password by email. Users who participated in the county’s first wiki can sign in with their existing username and password.

Water boil notice in effect for portions of Siesta Key

Water boil notice in effect for portions of Siesta Key

Sarasota, Florida - The water is back on in a Siesta Key neighborhood, but the county has issued a precautionary boil water advisory for 320 customers that experienced the outage. The customers live near the intersection of Midnight Pass Road and Sarasea Circle.

The water was turned off about 11:30 a.m. Thursday, so that repairs could be made to a water valve at that intersection. Those repairs took about two hours.

While the county has no reason to believe the drinking water was contaminated during the repairs, Florida law requires that drinking water providers issue precautionary boil water advisories to customers affected by pressure losses in water mains.

Boil water advisory to be issued for repair of water valve leak

Boil water advisory to be issued for repair of water valve leak

Sarasota County, Florida -- A precautionary boil water advisory will be issued for completion of repairs to a water valve leak at the corner of Bee Ridge Road and School Avenue. Repairs began a week ago. The water will be turned off about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 19. About 185 residents and businesses will be affected. The first samples will be pulled Wednesday morning to ensure the drinking water is not contaminated. 

Tuesday afternoon, July 19, Sarasota County will begin using automated telephone calls to notify residents in the area of the precautionary boil water advisory.

While the county has no reason to believe the drinking water was contaminated, Florida law requires that drinking water providers issue precautionary boil water advisories to customers affected by pressure losses in water mains.

North Lido Beach has new native plants

North Lido Beach has new native plants

Sarasota, Florida - A restoration project at North Lido Beach Park continues with a massive planting project.

More than 60 volunteers planted over 2,000 native plants in the tidal area over the weekend.

Among the volunteers getting wet and dirty were members of the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program "Bay Guardians".

BP: No more claims for Gulf oil spill

BP: No more claims for Gulf oil spill

PINELLAS COUNTY, Florida -- Less than a year after BP plugged the massive oil spill in the Gulf, the oil company says enough is enough. They don't want to pay any more claims for future losses, because BP believes the Gulf Coast economy is back in business.

However, restaurant owners along Madeira Beach disagree with BP's assessment. One business owner even used some 4-letter words to describe the oil company's response to the spill.

At the Friendly Fisherman in Johns Pass, tourists have slowly returned, but the oil spill is still fresh on their minds. "You would see pictures of big tar balls and things like that and different animals covered in oil," Kimberly Wolfe of Jeffersonville, Indiana told us.

North Lido Beach undergoes restoration with help from Mote

North Lido Beach undergoes restoration with help from Mote

On Saturday, members of the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Bay Guardian volunteers, along with Around the Bend Nature Tours will plant 2,000 native plants at North Lido Beach Park.

Some of the plants being used in this restoration were grown at Mote Aquaculture Park (MAP), a 200-acre aquaculture research and development facility located in eastern Sarasota County.

In a pilot project funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Grant program, Mote and partners, including Aquatic Plants of Florida, are growing red mangroves, salt wort, spartina and others using solid fish waste from the production of saltwater fish. By using this waste to feed saltwater plants — and doing it on a large enough scale to translate to commercial operations — this innovative system could serve as a model for sustainable marine aquaculture efforts across the nation and beyond.

First turtles hatch on Sarasota beaches

First turtles hatch on Sarasota beaches

Sarasota, Florida - The first sea turtle hatchlings of 2011 have been spotted making their way to the gulf.

This year's first hatch was documented on Tuesday, June 21 on the Sarasota County side of Longboat Key. The other two hatches were spotted the next day on Longboat Key's Manatee County side and on Siesta Key.

Scientists at Mote Marine laboratory say the nests hatched right on time, but observers did notice something disturbing. Some of the hatchlings were distracted by artificial light and became disoriented, losing their way to the sea.