Manatee County Water Quality Improving

Manatee County Water Quality Improving
Posted on 01/24/2024
Charlie HunsickerMANATEE COUNTY, FL (January 24, 2024) – Manatee County’s most important natural resource is water. And Manatee County is constantly monitoring the water quality to make sure it is safe for residents and visitors. During Tuesday’s Manatee County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting, commissioners found out just how much the water quality is improving.

“Our people in water quality and environmental protection are working hard every day,” said Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker. “And with our utility partners and Public Works partners, we are working to protect the water quality in Manatee County.”

Hunsicker went onto describe how water is regularly monitored at over 80 sites around the county, with more than 11,000 samples being tested annually, saying, “Manatee County is working hard to always observe where we are in our water-quality picture.”

Hunsicker presented numerous charts showing how and where the picture is improving.

“This is really important, and it is of major concern to our residents,” said Manatee County District 5 Commissioner Ray Turner. “So, putting together this presentation and informing everybody is really important.”

So how is this improvement happening? Hunsicker went on to explain several ways that the County is working proactively to protect water quality, including:

  • Wastewater Treatment Upgrades ($600 million invested over next five years)
  • Increased street sweeping
  • 5,000 seagrass plugs planted
  • 25,000 trees planted in 2023
  • 15,000 acres of habitat restored
  • 1,500 vertical oyster gardens installed

“Everybody does such a great job in ensuring that we have clean water here in Manatee County,” said Commission Chair Mike Rahn. “And I know how hard everybody is working.”

Commissioners also praised the Natural Resources staff for being such good stewards of voter-supported efforts to purchase more through the County’s Environmental Lands Management and Acquisition Committee (ELMAC).

“I hope the board hears that the investments the County is making into Natural Resources is bearing fruit,” said District 3 Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge.

County Administrator Charlie Bishop summed up the glowing report saying, “I really appreciate the dedication to doing work that matters.”

Watch the Presentation to the BOCC

Download a Copy of the Presentation