The sandy coastal beaches of the Gulf of Mexico attract many vacationing visitors. As part of these coastal beaches, the Southern Coastal watershed stretches 60 miles along the southern part of central Florida’s gulf coast. Visitors to the watershed will encounter the culture of Sarasota’s art community, the shark teeth-covered beaches of Venice and the fish-filled waters of Charlotte Harbor. In between these locations are some of Florida’s most productive estuaries, wetlands, coastal streams and meandering canal systems.
As with most of the rest of Florida, the majority of people in this watershed live within 10 miles from the gulf. This means that many of the activities that take place where people live — from maintaining attractive landscapes to creating new roads and buildings — directly impact the gulf and every water body leading up to it.