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Tampa Bay Estuary Program

ABOUT THE TAMPA BAY ESTUARY PROGRAM

About the Tampa Bay Estuary

Aerial View of Shell Key Preserve in Pinellas County

Tampa Bay, Florida's largest open-water estuary, stretches 398 square miles at high tide. Popular for sport and recreation, the bay also supports one of the world's most productive natural systems. Estuaries like Tampa Bay, where salt water from the sea and fresh water from rivers and uplands mix, are nurseries for young fish, shrimp, and crabs. More than 70 percent of all fish, shellfish, and crustaceans spend some critical stage of their development in these nearshore waters, protected from larger predators that swim the open sea.

Wildlife abounds along the shores of Tampa Bay. As many as 40,000 pairs of birds - from the familiar brown pelican to the colorful roseate spoonbill - nest in Tampa Bay every year. Others, including sandpipers and white pelicans, are seasonal visitors. The bay is also home to dolphins, sea turtles, and manatees.

After decades of pollution, Tampa Bay is coming back to life, again assuming its position as the shimmering economic and environmental centerpiece of the vibrant Southwest Florida region.

» What is TBEP?

» Charting the Course Management Plan

» State of the Bay

» Current TBEP Workplan

» TBEP Strategic Plan 2014-2020

» Interlocal Agreement

» How We Assist Our Community Partners

» Program Accomplishments

» Awards and Accolades

» Program Partners

» TBEP Staff

» TBEP Committees

» Management and Policy Board Meetings

» Other Meetings

» Uniform Special District Accountability Act

» TBEP Public Records Custodian

 
 
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