To make a difference concerning the issues surrounding water quality and quantity in our communities, we must understand the various ways in which we interact with water. As Floridians, we are connected to our oceans and bays by our faucets and laundries, to our neighborhood ponds and lakes by our yards and streets, and to our regional and statewide neighbors by our surface and groundwater supplies.
This program will use expert presentations, online explorations, experiential learning, field experience in watershed science, and communication skills training to foster a greater understanding of these interactions and provide the tools necessary to become stewards of our water resources.
During this seven-session course, participants will travel to locations across Pinellas County to explore the natural beauty, learn about emerging water issues, and meet with local experts.
Participants will also plan and implement an individual (or group) stewardship project that makes a difference in the community, attend a relevant stakeholder meeting and explore online resources to learn more about water between class sessions.
Each class session will be three hours long and include Working with Water instructor-led presentations looking at water at the state-level as well as Working with People instructor-led presentations highlighting communication best-practices. Classes will also include time for discussions, guest speaker presentations highlighting local water resources, and a field tour.
Note: The program is planned to occur in-person but may switch to online depending on the status of COVID at the start of the program.
This course has limited seating/availability. Register early to reserve your spot. Youth (under 18) are eligible to register as long as an accompanying adult is also registered for the program.
Session 1 – Wednesday, Aug. 25 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)*:
- Watershed Basics and Stewardship @ Brooker Creek Preserve in Tarpon Springs with guest speaker Alex Fugate, Environmental Specialist, Pinellas County Utilities Logan Lab
Session 2 – Wednesday, Sept. 8 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)*:
- Water Laws and Other Tools @ Pinellas County’s South Cross Bayou Advanced Water Reclamation Facility in St. Petersburg with guest speaker Shea Dunifon, Education Coordinator, Pinellas County Utilities
Session 3 – Wednesday, Sept. 22 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)*:
- Water Flow, Then and Now @ Philippe Park in Safety Harbor, FL with guest speaker Stacey Day, Environmental Program Manager, Pinellas County Environmental Management
Session 4 – Wednesday, Oct. 6 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)*:
- Panel Discussion with local environmental non-profit groups and Stewardship Project Updates @ Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo
Session 5 – Wednesday, Oct. 20 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)*: Panel
- Future Water Supply and Emerging Issues @ Keller Water Treatment Facility in Tarpon Springs with guest speaker Tirusew Asefa, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Manager, Planning & System Decision Support, Tampa Bay Water.
Session 6 – Wednesday, Nov. 3 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)*:
- Speaking of and for Water @ Tampa Bay Watch in Tierra Verde with guest speakers, Rachel Arndt, Communications Manager with Tampa Bay Watch and Dr. Sadie Hundemer, Natural Resources Social Scientist
Session 7- Wednesday, Nov. 17 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)*:
- Graduation and Water Stewardship In Action @ Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg
*Locations and speakers are subject to change.
Before You Register
Please review course requirements should you wish to receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program:
- Attend at least five of the seven sessions, two of which MUST be the first and last ones (Session #1 and Session #7)
- Attend and briefly describe a stakeholder gathering
- Complete online mini-sessions
- Participate in the online discussions
- Submit a summary of your individual or group stewardship project
If the cost of the program will prevent you from participating, please complete a scholarship application. Application deadline = Friday, August 13th.
For more information about this course, please contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County Natural Resources Agent, Lara Milligan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-453-6905.