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Red Bug Slough to celebrate restoration

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​SARASOTA COUNTY – County staff will host a grand opening Saturday, Nov. 8, to celebrate the completion of a wetlands restoration project in three areas within the 72-acre Red Bug Slough Preserve.

The festivities, scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon at the preserve, 5200 Beneva Road, Sarasota, will include guest speakers, refreshments, environmental education booths and more. Guest speakers include Commissioner Nora Patterson, Dr. Jay Leverone from the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Bryan Flynn from Atkins Consulting, Virginia Haley from Visit Sarasota and John Ryan from Sarasota County. Free food and drinks will be provided by Atkins consulting.

Attendees can meet and talk with county and Atkins staff as well as local experts to learn how the new restoration improves wildlife habitat in the preserve and water quality in the slough before it flows into Phillippi Creek and Sarasota Bay.

The project will also enhance existing native habitats and provide improved shoreline habitat for wading birds, fish, turtles and other aquatic animals. In addition, the preserve is home to grey squirrels, marsh rabbits, river otters, an occasional alligator, an assortment of songbirds and wildflowers, including Carolina aster, partridge pea and frostweed.

Red Bug Slough encompasses several miles of hiking trails, a small playground, picnic shelters and a fishing dock. it was purchased in 2000-01 through the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program with funding assistance provided by the Florida Communities Trust.

For more information, contact Jeff Weber at 941-650-8860 or Kathy Meaux at 941-650-1640.