Water-Related News

Tampa Bay Longshore Bar Project Wins Award

A collaborative environmental project to boost seagrass recovery in Tampa Bay has been selected as a Merit Award winner by The Planning Commission in that organization's 2011 Community Design Awards program, in the 'environmental and conservation' category.

The Tampa Bay Longshore Bar Project is an environmental pilot program with numerous partner organizations and an overall objective of encouraging seagrass recovery through the creation of wave-attenuating longshore bars. Seagrass recovery has been clearly defined as a major goal in Tampa Bay, in acknowledgement that very significant seagrass losses have been recorded since the 1950s. After thorough research and design, a sustainable, 950-foot long artificial bar system was constructed to encourage volunteer seagrass recovery.

The project team will monitor the bars for seagrass recovery, fish usage and durability of the bars. There is great interest in this technique and, if successful, re-creating bars in areas where they have been lost may be an important tool for seagrass managers in Tampa Bay and other coastal areas. Partners in this large and unique pilot restoration project include the Tampa Port Authority, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Scheda Ecological Associates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pinellas County Environmental Foundation, EPA's Gulf of Mexico Program, Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, City of Tampa, Mote Marine Laboratory, Coastal Resources Group, Inc., Tampa Bay Watch, and MacDill Air Force Base.