NewsPinellas County


Tampa Bay Watch protects area shorelines one project at a time

Non-profit aims to protect Tampa Bay shorelines
Tampa Bay Watch aims to protect bay shorelines
Posted at 4:35 PM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 15:46:02-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay’s waterways are not only vital to our economy but also the reason many of us call the bay area home. Its longevity is something we all play a part in, and Tampa Bay Watch is leading the charge to protect our shoreline.

The non-profit is dedicated exclusively to the protection and restoration of the marine and wetland environments of Tampa Bay using scientific and educational programs.

Director of Habitat Restoration Serra Herndon said the group's next project is underway at Lassing Park in St. Petersburg. Instead of using a man-made seawall to protect the shoreline at the park, Tampa Bay Watch is introducing a multi-year project to stop erosion. They are planning on using a three-layer approach that builds the shoreline up with oyster reef balls, bagged shell and 13-thousand square feet of salt marsh grass.

Tampa Bay Watch said the goal of using this approach aims to restore lost habitat by promoting new oyster growth, improve water quality and provide food sources and habitat for many species.

Last week, volunteers installed 20 tons of shell covering approximately 740 square feet along the shoreline.

“A concrete seawall is the strongest the day that it goes in and a living shoreline only gets stronger as it has been in place," Herndon said. "So, a living shoreline is not only a more environmentally friendly, but it is only going to protect your shoreline, and enhance your shoreline over time."

Tampa Bay Watch is always looking for volunteers and is continuing work at Lassing Park April 22 as part of their Earth Day celebration. For more information on volunteering and Tampa Bay Watch, click here.