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Sarasota EcoSummit tackles development, pollution and water quality

Nearly 8 acres of open land is lost to development per hour in Florida, says a panel moderator.

When it comes to environmental issues, it’s all about challenges and opportunities.

That was a recurring theme throughout the three-day EcoSummit hosted in Sarasota at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall from Dec. 4-6.

The event was hosted by the Science & Environmental Council of southwest Florida. The nonprofit serves the community by hosting similar events and sharing knowledge related to the environment.

On the first day, keynote speaker and documentary filmmaker Damon Gameau talked about seeking new environmental stories. Later that night, writer Carl Hiaasen, “Florida’s most savagely funny, riotous and cathartic storyteller” shared some of his Florida stories from dolphin-tourist relationships to alligator encounters.

Six sessions took place during the three-day event, which included panel discussions, case studies and storytelling from over 50 speakers.