Did you know Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest open-water bay? More than 400 square miles forming coastal inlets throughout Manatee, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, Tampa Bay is a virtual playground for boaters, swimmers and fishers from all over the world.
The unique fresh and salt water composition in the brackish bay supports and promotes the growth of an ecosystem comprised of hundreds of land and water animals. In the water you can find dolphins and manatees along with scallops, shrimp, crabs and clams. In the air it’s easy to spot pelicans, heron and seagulls.Warm, shallow waters along with the wetlands of Tampa Bay give all these animals a safe, stable place to eat, breed and make their home.
Protecting Tampa Bay means protecting not only the land and water it consumes but also all of the animal species that depend on it for life.Residential and commercial buildings being built, the drying up of water due to overuse as well as pollution from visitors and boaters all take a toll on the animal, plant and water population. Losing and polluting the water means cutting off a lifeline to these species, which causes the amount of manatees for example to decline.
If residents and visitors don’t protect Tampa Bay, many of its residents face extinction- including the manatee. Boating carefully, keeping garbage out of the water as well as staying out of marked animal habitats are just a few ways to keep Tampa Bay healthy and growing. There’s only one Tampa Bay so please do your part.