Open-File Report 2007-1349


Prepared in cooperation with
Sarasota Bay Estuary Program

Retrospective Review of Watershed Characteristics and a Framework for Future Research in the Sarasota Bay Watershed, Florida

George R. Kish1, Arnell S. Harrison2, and Mark Alderson3

1U.S. Geological Survey, Tampa, Florida
2U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, Florida
3Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Sarasota, Florida


     Select an option:

     Purpose and Scope
     Historical Perspective of Sarasota Bay
     Sarasota Bay National Estuary Program
Environmental Setting of the Sarasota Bay Watershed
     Water Use
          Upper Floridan Aquifer
          Intermediate Aquifer System
          Surficial Aquifer System
Watershed Characteristics Influencing Recharge and Discharge
     Soil Characteristics
          Porosity, Bulk Density, and Penetration Resistance
          Infiltration Rate
     Water Budget
     Urbanization and Land Use
     Land Practices
      Infiltration and Runoff
Framework for Future Research in the Watershed
      Low-Impact Development
      Pollutant Loading and Watershed Modeling
           Event Mean Concentrations for Pollutant Loading Models
      Research Topics
Selected References


     The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program conducted a retrospective review of characteristics of the Sarasota Bay watershed in west-central Florida. This report describes watershed characteristics, surface- and ground-water processes, and the environmental setting of the Sarasota Bay watershed.
     Population growth during the last 50 years is transforming the Sarasota Bay watershed from rural and agriculture to urban and suburban. The transition has resulted in land-use changes that influence surface- and ground-water processes in the watershed. Increased impervious cover decreases recharge to ground water and increases overland runoff and the pollutants carried in the runoff. Soil compaction resulting from agriculture, construction, and recreation activities also decreases recharge to ground water.
     Conventional approaches to stormwater runoff have involved conveyances and large storage areas. Low-impact development approaches, designed to provide recharge near the precipitation point-of-contact, are being used increasingly in the watershed.
     Simple pollutant loading models applied to the Sarasota Bay watershed have focused on large-scale processes and pollutant loads determined from empirical values and mean event concentrations. Complex watershed models and more intensive data-collection programs can provide the level of information needed to quantify (1) the effects of lot-scale land practices on runoff, storage, and ground-water recharge, (2) dry and wet season flux of nutrients through atmospheric deposition, (3) changes in partitioning of water and contaminants as urbanization alters predevelopment rainfall-runoff relations, and (4) linkages between watershed models and lot-scale models to evaluate the effect of small-scale changes over the entire Sarasota Bay watershed. As urbanization in the Sarasota Bay watershed continues, focused research on water-resources issues can provide information needed by water-resources managers to ensure the future health of the watershed.

Suggested Citation:

Kish, G.R., Harrison, A.S., and Alderson, Mark, 2008, Retrospective Review of Watershed Characteristics and a Framework for Future Research in the Sarasota Bay Watershed, Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1349, 49 p.

For additional information, contact:

U.S. Geological Survey
Florida Integrated Science Center
Suite 215
10500 University Center Dr.
Tampa, FL 33612-6427

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL:
Page Contact Information: USGS Publishing Network
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 07-Dec-2016 20:47:28 EST
FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button