- Recover an additional 5,103 acres of seagrass over 2010 levels, while preserving the bay’s existing grass beds and reducing propeller scarring of seagrasses.
- Prevent increases in nitrogen entering the bay and assist in maintaining nitrogen loading at 2003-2007 levels by implementing innovative stormwater management projects and programs.
- “Restore the historic balance” of coastal wetland habitats by restoring an additional 1,918 acres of salt marsh, including low-salinity tidal marsh, as approved in the TBEP 2010 Habitat Master Plan Update.
- Restore an additional 840 acres of salt barren (saltern) habitat in Tampa Bay.
- Restore and protect connectivity and function of fisheries habitat in the bay’s tidal streams and creeks.
- Benefit declining, threatened or endangered species at the state or federal level, or as identified in the CCMP, through addressing long term solutions to the conservation of a species and/or restoring associated habitat.
To date, TBERF, and its predecessor the Tampa Bay Environmental Fund, has received over $1.5 million to support 18 projects throughout the Tampa Bay watershed.
To learn more about the 2017 grant opportunity, click the request for proposals here.
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Without our sponsor organizations, the TBERF would not be able to work as tirelessly to restore Tampa's beautiful bay and wetlands. 2016 Donors include The Mosaic Company, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Florida Department of Transportation, Pinellas County, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and TECO. These projects include:
McKay Bay South Oyster Reef Creation Project; Tampa Bay Watch
The McKay Bay South Oyster Reef Creation Project involves the placement of 317 tons of oyster shell for a total of 3,170 linear feet of oyster reef and two 45’ diameter oyster beds along 4,000’ of the southwestern shoreline of McKay Bay.
Facilitation of Seagrass Productivity in Tampa Bay Using the Indigenous, Suspension Feeding Bivalve, Mercenaria campechiensis; Gulf Shellfish Institute
This project is designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of planting clams, Mercenaria campechiensis, as a means of improving water quality, increasing biodeposition of nutrients to sediments, and ultimately increasing productivity of seagrasses in Tampa Bay. This is potentially a more cost-effective means of increasing seagrass habitat than traditional seagrass planting.
Colonial Waterbird Management in the Tampa Bay Watershed; Audubon Florida
Audubon will manage colonial waterbird nesting colony and bird habitat sites in the Tampa Bay watershed and Pinellas County, work with colony managers to survey and post sites they are responsible for, enlist local volunteers, and address through educational outreach regionally significant bird conservation issues, including fishing practices that injure wildlife.
Little Manatee River Corridor Restoration Plan; Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD)
This project is a comprehensive restoration feasibility study involving habitat mapping, conceptual restoration designs, and prioritization of ecosystem restoration projects for approximately 7,166 acres of publicly owned land along the Little Manatee River in Hillsborough County. Prioritized projects will then be incrementally implemented by SWFWMD in partnership with Hillsborough County over multiple fiscal years.
CCMP Local Government Comprehensive Plan Crosswalk; Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
Translating goals and actions across multiple governmental entities and policy instruments can be challenging, especially when professionals possess differing disciplinary training. The Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) Local Government Comprehensive Plan Crosswalk project will offer a technical assistance tool for local governments seeking to incorporate CCMP actions and goals into their comprehensive plans.
- Eagle Lake Park Water Quality Improvement Project ($150,000)
Pinellas County will design and construct significant stormwater improvements to an 8-acre natural pond at a public park in the Allen's Creek watershed. The pond redesign will remove an estimated 273 pounds of nitrogen per year, while serving as an innovative demonstration of stormwater Best Management Practices for the public.
- MacDill AFB Saltern Habitat Restoration Project ($93,775)
The Ecosphere Restoration Institute will eliminate remnant mosquito control ditches and mounds that bisected historic high salt marshes (salterns) on the military base, allowing flows to resume and restore this rare wetland habitat in the bay watershed.
- Fish Communities Associated with Hard Bottom Habitats in Tampa Bay ($80,441)
A detailed survey of fish communities associated with natural and artificial hard bottom habitats (such as limestone outcroppings, fossilized coral and artificial reefs) will be conducted by FWC's Fish & Wildlife Research Institute. The surveys will employ video and mapping.
- Microplastics in Tampa Bay ($14,122)
Eckerd College professor David Hastings and students will assess the abundance and distribution of microplastic particles in bay waters and surface sediments monthly for nine months. The effluent of three wastewater treatment facilities also will be sampled.
Without our sponsor organizations, the TBERF would not be able to work as tirelessly to restore Tampa's beautiful bay and wetlands. In 2015, $673,000 in contributions from our sponsors helped with partial funding of 7 projects around the country. Donors include The Mosaic Company, South Florida Water Management District, Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Florida Department of Transportation, Pinellas County, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and TECO. These projects include:
- Examination of the ecological habitat value through water quality, fisheries usage, and benthic resources monitoring of 10 dredged holes in Tampa Bay and make restoration reccomendations
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will characterize the distribution of Pyrodinium bahamense resting cysts to find timing, location, and severity of the blooms
- Tampa Bay Watch will place 1,080 oyster domes and about 2,370 oyster shell bags to control erosion and implement ecosystem restoration along the southern shoreline of Fantasy Island
- Southwest Florida Water Management District plans to restore hydrolic flow and circulation between two backwater bays currently blocked by a land bridge
- Through collection, analysis, and integration of field data describing biomass, soil carbon stocks, and carbon sequestration rates in the Tampa Bay estuary, the Tampa Bay Blue Carbon Assessment's effectiveness will be improved
- The Terra Ceia Huber and Frog Creek Upland Project, an initiative to restore and enhance approximately 112 upland acres adjacent to Terra Ceia Bay.
- The Manatee County Board of County Commissioners will lead this project, which is a continuation of a monitoring program initiated in 2013 to document results of on-ground projects like ditch filling and weir installation at Duette and Headwaters Preserve
The TBERF would not be possible without the commitment and generosity of many organizations. $625,000 in contributions to the Tampa Bay Environmental Restoration Fund were provided in 2014 by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD); The Mosaic Company; Manatee County; Pinellas County; TECO Energy; the Florida Department of Transportation; and Port Tampa Bay.
Nine projects were selected for full or partial funding in 2014, and each project is required to have a dollar-for-dollar match, further leveraging the impact of the grant funds. These projects are expected to provide significant environmental benefits for Tampa Bay and include:
- planting 1,000 linear feet of salt marsh grass and placing 137 tons of oyster reef along the shoreline of MacDill AFB;
- installing 7,500-square-feet of oyster beds at Robinson Preserve;
- removing invasive species and replanting native species to restore 6 acres of wetlands at Safety Harbor Waterfront Park;
- planting marsh grasses utilizing community volunteers to enhance or restore 20 acres of tidal wetland habitat
- restoring forested and non-forested freshwater wetlands by removing manmade ditches to recreate natural hydrologic flows in the eastern Manatee River watershed; and
- managing and tracking population trends and threats in nationally significant waterbird nesting colonies