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Who We Are

Incorporated in 2001, the Science and Environment Council (SEC) of Southwest Florida is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit coalition of the 38 leading science-based environmental non-profit and government organizations in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The Council’s network serves as a catalyst and multiplier for what each of our local organizations are doing on their own — creating powerful synergy and leverage to initiate and accomplish impactful projects no one organization would on its own.

What We Do

As a coalition of leading environmental, science and cultural organizations, SEC serves local governmental, educational, and economic agencies by utilizing the experiences and institutional knowledge of SEC members. SEC is a leader in Southwest Florida, convening discussions, informing policy and enhancing public awareness about science-based conservation and sustainable practices to protect and restore our natural environment. Our work directly translates into improved quality of life, public health, and economic value.

Objectives

  • Develop interactive programs among members to improve public understand of the role and use of science in solving local conservation and environmental problems.
  • Work together in a non-partisan way to increase awareness among decision-makers about the need to use sound science, conservation, and environmental principles in decision-making.
  • Promote member programs and collaboration on exhibits and activities to engage the community through educational and recreational experiences.
  • Share and leverage knowledge, experience, programming, and facilities of our members and for-profit partners on projects that further the mission.

Our Board of Directors

SEC Chair

SEC Chair

Jennifer Rominiecki

President & CEO
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

SEC Vice-Chair

SEC Vice-Chair

David Pilston

CEO
Save Our Seabirds

SEC Secretary-Treasurer

SEC Secretary-Treasurer

Tony Clements

Park Manager
Oscar Scherer State Park

SEC Past-Chair

SEC Past-Chair

Christine Johnson

President
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast

Tom Barwin

City Manager
City of Sarasota

Brynne Anne Besio

President & CEO
Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

Michael Crosby

President & CEO
Mote Marine Laboratory

Charlie Hunsicker

Director Parks and Natural Resources
Manatee County Government

John Ryan

Stormwater Utility Manager
Sarasota County Government

SEC Co-Executive Director

SEC Co-Executive Director

Jennifer Shafer

Shafer Consulting, LLC

SEC Co-Executive Director

SEC Co-Executive Director

David Shafer

Shafer Consulting, LLC

Our Members

Institutional Members

Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Program

326 West Marion Ave
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 575-5090
More

The CHNEP is a partnership of citizens, elected officials, resource managers, and commercial and recreational resource users who are working to improve the water quality and ecological integrity of the 5,416 square-mile CHNEP area in the Myakka, Peace and Caloosahatchee River watersheds.

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast

400 Palmetto Ave
Osprey, FL 34229
(941) 918-2100
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Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is a nonprofit land trust that works with landowners, businesses, and government to protect the beauty and natural integrity of the bays, beaches, barrier islands and watersheds of Florida’s Gulf Coast. The Foundation purchases natural areas, holds conservation easements, and educates for responsible stewardship.

Sea to Shore Alliance - Clearwater Marine Aquarium

249 Windward Passage
Clearwater, FL 33767
(727) 441-1790
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The world-renowned research organization, Sea to Shore Alliance is now a part of Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA)! Sea to Shore has made critical advancements in their work with manatees, right whales and sea turtles. This important work will continue and expand as part of CMA’s research efforts.

Florida House Institute

4454 Beneva Rd
Sarasota, FL 34233
(941) 924-2050
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Florida House was the country’s first green demonstration house open to the public.  Now it is positioned to be the nation’s first high-performance retrofit demonstration house. Florida House aims to be the go-to place for facilitating continuous improvement to homes, neighborhoods and communities through cooperation, partnership, and collaboration.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

253 13th Avenue S
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 893-2765
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The mission of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program is to restore and protect Tampa Bay through implementation of a scientifically sound, community-based management plan. TBEP is an intergovernmental partnership that works with a variety of formal and informal partners to achieve specific measurable goals for bay improvement.

Historic Spanish Point

337 North Tamiami Trail
Osprey, FL 34229
(941) 966-5214
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Historic Spanish Point is a 30-acre environmental, archaeological, and historic site on Little Sarasota Bay. It features the nation’s only archaeological exhibition built inside of a shell mound. The meandering grounds feauture gardens, relics from Florida’s pioneer heritage and maritime history.

Manatee County Natural Res.

415 10th St W
Bradenton, FL 34205
(941) 745-3727
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Manatee County Natural Resources is responsible for managing over 30,000 acres of conservation properties in Manatee County. Staff monitor air and water quality, enforce hazardous waste and mining regulations, and oversee many aspects of development and wetland protection providing for the protection of the County’s natural resources.

Selby Botanical Gardens

811 S. Palm Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 366-5731
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Marie Selby Botanical Gardens strives to provide enjoyment and education to all 180,000 visitors who tour the Gardens each year. The Gardens maintains a collection of more than 20,000 plants across 13 acres and eight greenhouses, with a strong emphasis on scientific research, education, horticultural display and conservation.

Mote Marine Laboratory

1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 388-4441
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Mote Marine Laboratory has been a leader in marine research since it was founded in 1955. Today, the organization operates seven centers for marine research, the public Mote Aquarium and an Education Division specializing in public programs for all ages. Nearly 350,000 visitors from around the world experience Mote Aquarium each year.

Myakka River State Park

13208 State Road 72
Sarasota, FL 34241
(941) 361-6511
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Myakka River State Park is one of Florida’s oldest and largest state parks. The “Florida Wild and Scenic Myakka River” flows through 57 square miles of wetlands, prairies and woodlands. Myakka is popular for hiking, fishing, camping, and wildlife observation.

New College of Florida

5800 Bayshore Rd
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 487-5000
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New College of Florida is a nationally ranked leader in the arts and sciences, the State of Florida’s honors college for liberal arts and sciences, and a top Fulbright producer with a waterfront campus on Sarasota Bay. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, New College offers a personal and collaborative learning environment.

Oscar Scherer State Park

1843 South Tamiami Trail
Osprey, FL 34229
(941) 483-5956
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A large acreage of scrubby flatwoods makes this park one of the best places to see Florida scrub-jays, a threatened species found only in Florida. Fifteen miles of trails through these beautiful natural areas provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and wildlife viewing with paddling along South Creek.

Ringling College of Art + Design

2700 N Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34234
(941) 351-5100
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Ringling College of Art + Design is a private, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering Bachelor’s degrees  in 14 disciplines. In addition to its degree program, Ringling College offers courses, lectures, exhibitions and other art-related services to the local and regional community through its gallery, library, continuing education and community service programs.

Sarasota Bay Estuary Program

111 S Orange Ave Ste 200W
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 955-8085
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SBEP is an intergovernmental partnership dedicated to restoring and protecting Sarasota Bay. Our partners include Sarasota and Manatee counties; cities of Sarasota and Bradenton; Town of Longboat Key; Southwest Florida Water Management District; Florida Department of Environmental Protection; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Sarasota Bay Watch

P.O. Box 1141
Osprey, FL 34229
(941) 918-2700
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Sarasota Bay Watch is a grass-roots community-based organization committed to protecting and restoring Sarasota Bay’s ecosystem through community education and citizen participation, including a multi-year citizen-driven initiative to restore scallops to Sarasota Bay using community fund-raising and volunteers.

Sarasota County

Natural & Water Resources
UF/IFAS Extension
(941) 861-5000
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Sarasota County monitors, protects and conserves its air, water and land with a focus on maintaining and improving its natural systems across 563 square miles and 37 miles of Gulf beaches. Sarasota County is a leader in innovative environmental management and sustainable living. Sarasota’s focus on quality of life outshines many growth communities.

Save Our Seabirds

1708 Ken Thompson Pkwy
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 388-3010
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Save our Seabirds is a wildlife conservation and education organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured birds, and to educate the public about nature and environmental sustainability.

The Bishop Museum

201 10th St. West
Bradenton, FL 34205
(941) 746-4131
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The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The Bishop interprets the region from the Pleistocene to the present. The organization also includes the Planetarium and the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat.

City of Sarasota

1565 First Street
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941)365-2200
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City of Sarasota envisions a sustainable future through projects, programs and policies to improve the sustainability of city operations and the community, meeting the needs of the present without compromising future generations.

University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee

8350 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 359-4200
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USF Sarasota-Manatee offers over forty bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and certificate programs in four colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business, Education and Hospitality & Technology, including state-of-the-art biology teaching labs at Mote Marine Laboratory in support of a new Bachelor of Science in Biology degree.

DeSoto National Memorial

8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy
Bradenton, FL 34209
(941) 792-0458 x105
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DeSoto National Memorial is part of the U.S. National Park Service. The highlights of the park include living history programs and demonstrations, and during the summer months, guided kayak tours in the surrounding water and bays. Park Rangers and staff are on hand to assist visitors in their historical understanding of Hernando DeSoto’s conquest.

Sarasota Bay Dolphin Research Program

1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy
Sarasota, FL 34236
More

Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Bay Dolphin Research Program has been studying the Sarasota Bay Dolphin population for over four-decades, the longest running dolphin research program in the world. Pioneering the use of systematic long-term dolphin surveys, we have learned about dolphin social behavior and habitat needs, and natural and human threats to dolphin health.

Lemur Conservation Foundation

(941) 322-8494
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The Lemur Conservation Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the primates of Madagascar through managed breeding, scientific research, education, and art. The Myakka City reserve, now home to over 50 lemurs, is 130 acres and encompasses diverse vegetation zones that range from freshwater marsh to scrub to oak-pine mixed forest.

Sarasota Audubon Society

999 Center Road
Sarasota, FL 34240

(941) 312-6533
More

Sarasota Audubon is the local chapter of the National Audubon Society, dedicated to the protection, conservation and enjoyment of birds, wildlife and the environment. Visit us at our LEED GOLD Certified Nature Center at the Celery Fields, an oasis of restored wetlands and prime birding and wildlife habitat. Join us for local birding trips and conservation projects.

Affiliate Members

Venice Area Audubon Society

4002 S. Tamiami Trail
Venice, FL
(941) 496-8984
More

Florida Journeys Communications

(941) 228-4715
More

Solutions To Avoid Red Tide

941-951-3400
More

Florida Native Plant Society Serenoa Chapter

Around The Bend Nature Tours

(941) 794-8773
More

WayneAdventures

(941) 545-7338
More

Founders Garden Club of Sarasota

(941) 926-9294

Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism

Stocking Savvy

(941) 500-2218
More

Sunshine Community Compost

Transition Sarasota

(941) 702-GROW
More

Sarasota Bay Foundation

(941) 780-3120
More

Pelican Cove Condominium

1615 Pelican Point Drive
Sarasota, FL 34231
(941) 966-5674
More

This Spaceship Earth

TREE Foundation

941-500-2505
More