Tampa Bay Environmental Restoration Fund (TBERF) announces 2021 award recipients
The Tampa Bay Environmental Restoration Fund (TBERF) is a competitive grants program that supports projects which implement the water quality improvement, habitat restoration, applied research, and education priorities of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) and its partners. TBEP and RAE encourage local and national contributions from the public and private sectors in order to achieve measurable conservation outcomes for the protection and restoration of Tampa Bay. This year, TBERF is excited to announce its support for 7 projects that will aid in accomplishing the goals of our Program and the overall health of Tampa Bay.
Diamondback Terrapin Conservation Plan for Tampa Bay ($88,224)
The University of South Florida will survey the Tampa Bay region to identify population distribution, locate nesting areas, and assess threats to diamondback terrapins. The information collected on this imperiled estuarine turtle species will be incorporated into management recommendations to improve terrapin conservation in Tampa Bay.
Up in the Air, Down in the Water: Atmospheric Deposition in Tampa Bay ($79,272)
The University of Florida will collect data to better understand atmospheric loading of nitrogen to Tampa Bay, including how it may contribute to harmful algal blooms and how it may be influenced by features of the urban landscape such as tree canopy cover and imperviousness. These findings will be used to develop a science-based outreach and education program on the connections between water quality and air quality.
Economic Valuation of Tampa Bay ($38,450)
The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council will conduct a reproducible analysis of property values; tourist accommodations and spending; recreational boating; employment and wages; as well as consumptive and non-consumptive ecosystem goods and services to estimate the value of Tampa Bay to the regional economy.
Philippe Bay Water Quality Improvements ($42,150)
The Philippe Bay Association will construct stormwater BMPs, including rain gardens, vegetated swales, littoral shelves, and baffle boxes, to reduce nutrient pollution and improve water quality in Old Tampa Bay.
Status and Trends of Sharks in Tampa Bay ($165,111)
New College of Florida will evaluate habitat use, movement patterns, and residency to assess the effects of climate change and coastal development on several species of sharks (great hammerhead, blacknose, black tip, bull) found in Tampa Bay. The project will provide hands-on research training for undergraduate students from underrepresented groups, building capacity and supporting diversity in estuarine science.
Robinson Preserve Juvenile Sportfish Emigration ($106,036)
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will tag and track fish to determine whether the habitat restoration activities at Robinson Preserve contribute juvenile sportfish to the greater fished population. The project will provide multiple opportunities to engage the public in habitat restoration and fisheries research, promoting active public involvement in bay restoration and conservation.
Eckerd College Living Shoreline ($150,721)
Eckerd College will construct 400 linear feet of living shoreline along the campus Boca Ciega bayfront. An additional 1,230 linear feet of living shorelines will be designed and permitted. The living shoreline project is expected to enhance wildlife habitat, improve resilience to sea level rise, and provide opportunities for students to participate in planting and installation activities.
Purity Springs Restoration and Living Shoreline ($72,727)
The City of Tampa will enhance habitat values of the Purity Springs run to the Hillsborough River. The project will remove non-native plants; enhance 530 linear feet of eroded shoreline; restore 1.3 acres of spring pool habitat; install educational signage; and engage neighborhood residents in volunteer planting events.
Click here for more information on TBERF, including past grant recipients and the history of the program.