The Elling Eide Center is a serene sanctuary overlooking Little Sarasota Bay. A group of
youth leaders were fortunate to enjoy a perfect morning there on January 12, 2019. The
Youth Leadership group from the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce partnered with Sarasota
Bay Watch to clean marine debris from one of the largest undeveloped shorelines in the
The day began with bagels, danish and coffee provided by the EE Center. After
greetings and a safety briefing everyone spread out along the bayfront.
It was delightful to be in a place with mangroves at full height and extensive oyster bars
spreading across the shallow bay. A kingfisher called out as it flew overhead, horseshoe
crabs were nestled on the shore and fish were stirring in the water everywhere.
Harold Mitchell related stories about this historic location that has been passed down by
his family. A home was floated here from Manatee County many decades ago. Residents
used to eat clams, scallops and oysters from the clear waters of the bay.
What a pleasure it is to come together with good people who take the time to make our
world just a little bit better, just a little cleaner, just a little healthier for the birds and
wildlife that share our special part of the planet.
The Elling Eide Center is immaculate – perfectly clean – but over time trash washes up
on their shores. It is kind of hard to imagine where it all came from. Here are the stats:
• 31 people – 19 SCC Youth Leadership and 12 adults; one kayaker, one snorkeler.
• 72-acre preserve with about 1/3 mile of shoreline
• 1,039 pounds of debris – 895 trash and 144 recycling
• Curiosities: toilet plunger, light saber, and underwear.
Best of all, the future leaders of Sarasota had an experience they can remember and act
on throughout the many decades of life before them.