Here’s How Sarasota Preserves Its Bay Heritage


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, July 13, 2018 – The waters of Sarasota Bay are part of the factors that shaped the fortunes of many residential developments in Sarasota and Manatee counties, and ways to preserve and cultivate these valued economic and cultural assets are all very well in place.

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is at the spearhead of various initiatives to safeguard the bay’s heritage and contribution to the quality of life in the two-county region. This intergovernmental partnership was formed in 1989 and with offices at South Orange Avenue just east of the new downtown condo development The Mark.

Wetlands Creation


One of SBEP’s key objectives is habitat restoration under which the agency aims to create annually 11 acres of non-forested freshwater wetlands and 18 acres of intertidal wetlands in the bay’s watershed. Projects for the improvement of the bay’s water quality, surely a prime element to the marketability of Sarasota homes for sale, are also part of this agency’s marching orders.

SBEP likewise provides several mechanisms to get Sarasotans and visitors involved in its activities. Aside from recruiting volunteers for its various conservation and preservation projects, this agency also provides recreational opportunities in its free and professionally guided Bay Wise Eco-tours from December to April.

Paddlers’ Trail on the Bay

For these tours, SBEP developed the Gulf Coast Heritage Trail near and along Sarasota Bay. The trail offers 127 delightful destinations not only for kayaking but also for birdwatching and enjoying visits to our region’s natural, cultural and educational icons. It starts in northern Manatee at the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier State Park and ends south on Lemon Bay in Englewood at the Cedar Point Environmental Center.

Quite apt to the natural, cultural and social values that the SBEP trail helps propagate, one of its stops is the Florida Maritime Museum at the historic fishing village of Cortez in Manatee. This museum is located in a parcel of nearly four acres at 4415 119th Street West, Cortez.

Proud Maritime Culture

Cortez Maritime Museum

Conceptualized as a modern museum facility, it is housed in a historic 1912 schoolhouse and surrounded by the lush grounds of the Cortez Nature Preserve. This museum purveys the heritage and importance of the region’s commercial fishing industry. It also presents vignettes of Florida’s maritime culture and history, with exhibits on historic photographs, boat models, marine instruments and tools.

The museum is also host to a folk school on traditional Florida skills and to a research library that includes a variety of archival materials like books, periodicals, plans, logs, diaries, letters, and records related to maritime subjects with special focus on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

A Spark from a Lady’s Estate

Historic Spanish Point

The Historic Spanish Point at 337 North Tamiami Trail in Osprey only a few blocks west of the golf community of the Oaks Club is another outstanding stop of The Gulf Coast Heritage Trail. Interestingly enough, one of the four main elements of this museum relates to the era of Mrs. Potter Palmer who set up a pioneering 350-acre estate winter estate in the region during the early 1900s. The development of her property notably helped germinate the early real estate ventures which served as a foundation of the property developments in the south Sarasota area as we know it today.

There’s more to appreciate from the rich heritage of Sarasota Bay especially as it relates to many local residences available on the market. Be sure to hook up with a realtor who can help not only in some pencil-pushing on such items as comparables and hard figures on square footages and pricing. Partner with someone who can also provide an overview of our area’s heritage that sure add up to the values of Sarasota homes for sale.