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Sarasota LID Expo March 23 Attracting Experts From Around Florida

SARASOTA, FL – The region’s first Low Impact Development (LID) Expo is set for Friday, March 23 at the Sarasota County Extension Office located at Twin Lakes Park at 6700 Clark Road. The free event runs from 10am to 4pm and will showcase a series of presentations by expert speakers from throughout Florida as well as various exhibits.

Innovative low impact development techniques such as creating “green” streets, maintaining stormwater ponds, selecting native plants for vertical walls, swales and rain gardens, and stormwater management through porous paving methods will be presented. Some of the LID projects to be discussed include the Dearborn Street Pilot Project in Englewood, the Honore Avenue Extension in Sarasota and the Palmetto Green Streets project in Palmetto. The leading Florida green roof expert will present design considerations and officials from Sarasota County will address permitting projects. View the full agenda online at and

Some of the scheduled participants include: Dr. Marty Wanielista, a professor at the University of Central Florida, Kathy Croteau and Rob Wright with Sarasota County, Terry Cerullo with Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Tom Levin, urban planner and landscape architect from Ekistics Design Studio, Molly Williams with Stantec, Russ Hoffman with Beautiful Ponds, Inc., Joanne Gulliksen with GAP Architectural Products, Elie Araj with Applied Sciences and Kreg Maheu and Stefan Thoenes with DMK Associates. Florida experts, educators and industry representatives are participating as exhibitors, speakers and guests.

“Industry professionals such as builders, developers, architects, engineers, and land planners as well as condo associations and homeowners can benefit from these techniques,” explained Angela Maraj, the event organizer. “Sarasota County is leading Florida with LID planning and the local expo is an opportunity to encourage the expansion of LID policies and practices statewide.”

Prospective exhibitors are encouraged to contact Maraj at Maraj worked as a contractor previously for the Southwest Florida Water Management District and was a former contractor with Sarasota County where she helped develop a LID Manual.

Maraj is being supported by a Bay Partners Grant from the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP). SBEP provides grants annually to support local organizations that complete projects that benefit Sarasota Bay. SBEP has awarded $150,000 in grants to 90 local organizations since 2002.

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program is dedicated to restoring the area's greatest natural asset—Sarasota Bay. Its unique program strives to improve water quality, increase habitat and enhance the natural resources of the area for use and enjoyment by the public. Sarasota Bay is one of 28 estuaries in the United States that have been named by the U.S. Congress as an "estuary of national significance." Partners include Sarasota County, Manatee County, City of Sarasota, City of Bradenton, Town of Longboat Key, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Southwest Florida Water Management District, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.