May 16, 2011
I wanted to share this great photograph sent to me by Tampa BayWatch, one of FishAmerica's grant recipients. The attached picture, taken in October 2004, shows a now mature salt marsh restored by volunteers in 2002. The salt marsh is in Hillsborough Bay, the northeastern arm of Tampa Bay. The project was funded by FishAmerica
through our partnership with the NOAA Restoration Center.
The salt marsh was restored by student volunteers from local schools who grew a majority of the salt marsh plants at their schools and then transplanted the salt march plugs (individual salt marsh plants) to the once barren project site. The salt marsh was able to withstand the awesome power of the three hurricanes that crossed Florida during a six-week period in Fall 2004.
The salt marsh (planted in 2002) and the oyster bars (built in Spring 2004), provide essential spawning and rearing habitat for many species of sportfish including snook, tarpon and sheepshead, while protecting the shoreline from the heavy storm surge and wave action sustained during the hurricanes.