March 23, 2022 (Bradenton, FL) – Tampa Bay Watch, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs, announced today it will partner with Manatee County for a native planting at Robinson Preserve on Saturday, March 26.
Incorporated in 1993, Tampa Bay Watch performs habitat restoration and protection activities throughout the year, relying heavily on the efforts of community volunteers. Approximately forty volunteers from around the Tampa Bay area will plant Black Needlerush or Juncus roemerianus to prevent erosion and create new habitats.
“Manatee county has done an exceptional job with Robinson Preserve. This planting is an opportunity for community members to spend a day at a beautiful park and take part in the process of restoring once degraded habitat,” said Paige Lansky, Native Planting Programs Coordinator for Tampa Bay Watch.
Robinson Preserve comprises 682 acres of preserved mangroves, tidal marsh, and former agricultural lands that were once slated for residential development. The restoration work at Robinson Preserve represents an incredible partnership between numerous local, state, and national agencies. “We could not have accomplished this without the help of thousands of volunteers over the last 15 years, and we are excited to continue restoring this important place with the help of Tampa Bay Watch,” said Sarah Denison, Education and Volunteer Program Manager for Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department.
The planting of native plants protects and stabilizes low lying coastal lands and provides protection and food sources for estuarine and coastal fishery food chains of many species of fish and marine mammals. Salt marsh and other coastal habitat populations have declined more than 80% over the past 100 years — due mostly to the dredging, construction and waste water discharges. This loss has damaged a crucial link in the bay’s food chain for fish and wildlife resources, significantly impacting the bay’s fisheries.
About Tampa Bay WatchTampa Bay Watch is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a healthy Tampa Bay watershed through community-driven restoration projects, education programs, and outreach initiatives. Incorporated in 1993, Tampa Bay Watch conducts habitat restoration and educational activities throughout the year, relying heavily on the efforts of community volunteers. These programs seek to build citizen awareness, concern and participation in improving the health and sustainability of Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay Watch opened the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center at the new St. Pete Pier in July 2020. The Discovery Center features a public Exhibit Gallery showcasing the economic and ecological value of the Tampa Bay estuary to residents and visitors, a 45’ eco-vessel which conducts daily on-water educational activities and both an outdoor “wet” classroom and an indoor classroom offering a variety of environmental outreach programs to visitors and Tampa Bay area students. For more information, visit www.tampabaywatch.org, or call 727-867-8166.