Proposal to Improve Water Quality in Siesta Canals

Dec. 5, 2019 –

You can quickly and easily improve the water quality in Siesta canals, was the message Phil Chiocchio, of the Sarasota Bay Fisheries Forum, delivered at the December 5 SKA monthly meeting.

Since the canals were built to sell houses, not to provide an eco-friendly habitat for sea life, water in Siesta canals is unhealthy. The water needs aeration, more flow, and filtration. Adding aeration and flow are larger projects. However, filtration can be accomplished quickly by individuals installing mini reefs under an existing boat dock.

Sandy Gilbert, of Solutions to Avoid Red Tide (START), explained that these mini-reefs filter 30,000 gallons of water per day and soon become a haven for crabs, oysters, and fish. They are affordable (approximately $300), long-lasting, and low maintenance. Besides improving water quality in the canals, filtration helps in the fight to avoid red tide. Currently, the City of Sarasota allows these installations, so Phil proposed that the Bay Island area of Siesta could develop a wonderful demonstration project for Siesta and neighboring islands.

You can visit an existing 3-month old installation at the Mar Vista restaurant on north Longboat Key to see how quickly the mini reef becomes populated. For further information contact the Siesta Key Association.