The Suncoast’s major waterbodies include Sarasota Bay, portions of Tampa Bay, the Manatee River, Charlotte Harbor and the nearshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The exclusive jurisdiction of the Suncoast Waterkeeper is a hybrid construct of a media/geopolitical/watershed nature. Rather than attempting a jurisdiction that would include all of the Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, and Charlotte Harbor estuaries, the Waterkeeper will focus on the coastal waters of Manatee and Sarasota Counties, a watershed defined by culture and politics as much as hydrology. The watershed includes all of the Sarasota Bay Estuary and the southern reaches of Tampa Bay (Lower Tampa Bay and Terra Ceia Bay,) and the Manatee River.
The Suncoast Waterkeeper is Andy Mele, former Executive Director of a major Hudson River environmental group that was instrumental in forcing General Electric to remove 300,000 pounds of toxic PCBs from the Hudson. He is author of Polluting for Pleasure (W.W. Norton), the book that rendered the old two-stroke outboard motor all but extinct, keeping millions of gallons of oil and gasoline from American waterways every year. Andy has an MS in environmental science, Bard College.
P.O. Box 1028
Sarasota, Florida 34230