Law enforcement collects prescription drugs at USF Sarasota-Manatee Environmental Fair

Did you know that more than 100 pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and streams throughout the world?

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) are encouraging area residents to turn in their unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications November 13 at the USF Sarasota-Manatee Environmental Fair.

The free public event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the newly renovated Clyde Nixon Courtyard at USF Sarasota-Manatee, located at 8350 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

More than 4 billion prescriptions are filled in the United States every year, and it has been estimated that as much as a third of the dispensed medication goes unused – leading to potentially 200 million pounds of pharmaceuticals that could adversely affect the environment if disposed of improperly. Even small concentrations of pharmaceuticals could have an adverse impact on people and marine life including aquatic organisms.

Law enforcement representatives will be on hand to receive the medications safely for proper disposal. A variety of eco-friendly groups will also be on hand to educate visitors about various facets of green living and sustainability. Music will be provided by DJ Floss, and Mote Marine Laboratory will display their mobile 1,200 gallon fish tank. The first ever USF Sarasota-Manatee Environmental Fair is being organized by the school’s Student Government Association (SGA).

Event exhibitors will include the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, the USF Sarasota-Manatee SGA, Manatee County Natural Resources, Around the Bend Nature Tours, Mellaleuca Wellness Company, Wildlife Center of Venice, Keep Manatee Beautiful, Veg Sarasota, Manatee County Audubon Society, the USF Office of Sustainability, and other organizations.

For more information about the event, call Brittany Gleitsman, Student Government Association President, at (941) 359-4253.