Tampa Shores community wins Golden Mangrove Award for Mini-grant project
TAMPA SHORES — An innovative project to reduce pollution by installing sturdy baskets with absorbent filters in existing storm water drains to capture oil, trash and lawn clippings before they reach Tampa Bay has won the Golden Mangrove Award.
The award was presented to the Tampa Shores Special Dependent District No. 60 as Tampa Bay Estuary Program’s most outstanding Bay Mini-Grant project.
Tampa Shores-Imperial Key is a 240-home canal subdivision built in the 1960s and ’70s in northwest Hillsborough County on the northern part of Tampa Bay off of Channel A.
Brad Ware, president of the special district, spearheaded the project after learning similar projects had been implemented successfully in other canal communities in the Tampa Bay area and Cape Coral.
Susan Aungst, president of the Tampa Shores Imperial Key Civic Association, wrote the grant proposal and helped to implement the project. The association provided information to residents about the project, and information about how to help reduce pollution through social media and at business meetings and social events.
“Essentially, the screen mesh and ring filters collect debris like trash and leaves, plus the replaceable, absorptive ring collects the oils/contaminants from street run off,” Ware said.
About 20 community volunteers empty the devices twice a year, he said.
The $5,000 Tampa Bay Estuary Grant for the project was supplemented with about $3,000 from the community’s tax board. That total funded the first seven devices in 2014. Since then, the community tax board has bought and installed four additional devices and a new Bay Mini-Grant will fund five more in 2016.
Continued in the Tampa Tribune »