Follow the Money

Here's How Our Region Has Spent $21 Million in EPA Grants

President Trump's proposed budget would cut EPA funding by one-third.

By Hannah Wallace April 26, 2017

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Phillippi Creek is just one place that's been helped by EPA funding.

Image: John McCarthy

President Trump’s proposed budget cuts EPA funding by a third, which would make it the lowest in 40 years, adjusted for inflation, and would jeopardize many programs, possibly including grants to states for environmental protection and clean-up. Since 2005, the agency has given $20,982,825 to Sarasota and Manatee.


Awarded Sept. 29, 2009

Recipient: Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
Total in annual grants (between $200,000 and $750,000 each year) for 2004-2009. SBEP is part of the EPA’s National Estuary Program dedicated to restoring 28 estuaries of national significance. SBEP has overseen a 64 percent reduction in nitrogen pollution in Sarasota Bay and a 55 percent increase in seagrass coverage.


Awarded Sept. 9, 2014

Recipient: Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
Continued the SBEP research into tidal creeks, which provide fish nurseries for many species. SBEP studied unique water-quality characteristics, particularly nutrients, in order to develop a management plan for the creeks’ protection.


Awarded Aug. 20, 2014

Recipient: Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
Total in annual grants for 2010-2014, including projects that restored 236 acres of Lido Key and more than 1,200 acres of wetlands in the Sarasota Bay watershed.


Awarded Nov. 21, 2006

Recipient: University of South Florida
Tested a potentially low-cost method for scanning freshwater discharge into Sarasota Bay; the method didn’t work well for locating discharge, but did turn out to work well for mapping the bay’s underlying geology.


Awarded March 24, 2005

Recipient: Manatee County Board of Commissioners
As part of the Manatee Agricultural Reuse System (MARS), connected the county’s three water-reclamation facilities to provide reclaimed water primarily to agricultural sites to reduce aquifer withdrawals and preserve drinking water.


Awarded March 13, 2007

Recipient: Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Restored and enhanced a 482-acre tract of land within coastal Manatee County, including tidal lagoons, emergent marsh and coastal uplands. Eliminated exotic vegetation and established native species.


Awarded Sept. 17, 2014

Recipient: Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
Organized 1,200 volunteers to remove more than 4,200 pounds of invasive air potato plants from Sarasota’s North Water Tower Park, where SBEP also hosts K-12 learning trips.


Awarded April 12, 2007

Recipient: Sarasota County Government
Replaced 474 septic tanks in the Phillippi Creek Area with centralized collection and treatment facilities. (Phillippi Creek is the largest inputter of fresh water and nutrients into Sarasota Bay.)


Awarded April 5, 2012

Recipient: Sarasota County Government
Continued the Phillippi Creek Septic System Replacement Program—constructed a wastewater collection system to provide central sewer service to nearly 800 properties, reducing health hazards and protecting surface water.


Awarded Sept. 16, 2005

Recipient: Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Created and enhanced approximately 397 acres of habitat in Robinson Preserve through wetland creation, transitional and coastal upland enhancement and exotics control.

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