If you live in Sarasota or Manatee County and your community’s stormwater ponds are suffering from unsightly algal blooms or costly eroding banks, you should contact us for a free assessment and a chance for a grant to help fund the cost of the native aquatic plants shown above that will improve the health of your ponds.

Thanks to major funding from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation and ongoing funding from the Chiles-Moore Pond Grant and the Community Foundation of the Gulf Coast, The Healthy Pond Collaborative can provide expert advice on upgrading ailing stormwater ponds and grants up to $3,000 per community to help cover the cost of the native aquatic plants necessary for a successful pond enhancement program. At an average cost of only $1.50 per plant, you can buy a lot of aquatic plants for $3,000.

The Healthy Pond Collaborative is a partnership serving Sarasota County that includes START, the University of Florida Sarasota Extension, the Sarasota County NEST Program and the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida. In Manatee County, it is a partnership with START and the Manatee County Department of Natural Resources.

To get your stormwater ponds in line for an upgrade that will improve their capacity to manage stormwater and beautify the community by reducing unsightly algal blooms, contact Sandy Gilbert at START at

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