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Deadline is Feb. 3rd to register for new water resources program

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Pinellas County Extension is hosting the new Florida Waters Stewardship Program for those who are interested in making a difference for local water resources. The program starts Tuesday, Feb. 9 and participants will meet for three hours every two weeks for a total of six sessions where they will explore local watersheds allowing residents to view different aspects of water and water issues firsthand, learn about practices and policies affecting waters of Pinellas County and the state, enhance communication and leadership skills, participate in the class’ Florida Microplastics Awareness Project and much more!.

This six-session course will be interactive and informal with class discussions, field tours and conversations with local water experts. Participants will be expected to attend all six-class sessions, complete short take-home “assignments for exploration”, contribute to the class stewardship project and engage with guest experts and other participants. The program requires a commitment of time, both inside and outside of class sessions with total commitment estimated at 30 hours during three months.

Those interested in the program can register online by Wednesday, Feb. 3, and the cost for the program is $99. Each class session meets at a different location and includes a site tour and at least one guest speaker.

  • Session 1: Tuesday, Feb. 9, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Brooker Creek Preserve – Watershed Basics and Stewardship and Leadership Skills
  • Session 2: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Fort De Soto Park – Changing Waterscapes and Working with Thorny Issues
  • Session 3: Saturday, March 12, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Pinellas County’s Waste-to-Energy Plant – Regulatory Policies, Tools, and Economics and Getting Things Done: The Power of Partnership
  • Session 4: Tuesday, March 22, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. – St. Petersburg Water Resources Department – Water Supply and Emerging Water-Resource Issues and Communication is More Than Words
  • Session 5: Tuesday, April 5, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Life Farms and Safety Harbor Library – Field Trip and Stakeholder Panel Discussion
  • Session 6: Saturday, April 16, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Weedon Island Preserve – Final Reflections and Where To From Here?
Current guest speakers include: Robert Burnes, Environmental Specialist II, Watershed Management, Pinellas County; Jim Wilson, Park Supervisor at Fort DeSoto Park; Brandt F. Henningsen, PhD, Chief Advisor Environmental Scientist, Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Program at Southwest Florida Water Management District; Chris Claus at Water Conservation Coordinator, City of St. Petersburg; and Tatiana Borisova, PhD, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida.

Pinellas County Extension is a partnership between Pinellas County government and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences as part of a nationwide network of land grant universities. The University of Florida is an equal-access/equal-opportunity institution.

The mission of Pinellas County Extension is to provide research-based knowledge and education programs enabling people to make practical decisions to improve their quality of life and the world around them. Education focuses on sustainable living, lawn and garden, families and consumers, and 4-H youth development.

Pinellas County Extension offers programming at the Extension office, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, (727) 582-2100. The Largo office is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Extension also offers programming at the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs, (727) 453-6800 and at the Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg, (727) 453-6500.

Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in an event or class you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. At least seven days prior to the event or class, please contact the Office of Human Rights, 400 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Suite 500, Clearwater, FL 33756, (727) 464-4062 (Voice/TDD).

A video about many of these programs can be found at