Coastal wetlands in the Tampa Bay area have suffered extensive damage due to the overwhelming amount of urban and industrial shoreline development, losing over 40% of historical coastal marsh habitat.
Native plants have numerous benefits for Tampa Bay and its marine and shoreline inhabitants.
- Stabilizes shorelines and protects against erosion
- Provides habitat for small fish and other creatures
- Absorbs wave energy from storms
- Filters pollutants and marine debris from entering our waterways.
The native planting program has evolved as restoration priorities are changing to accommodate for future sea-level rise and increased storm activity. The Tampa Bay area ranks in the top ten globally for most vulnerable cities to sea level rise. A small amount of natural coastal habitat can result in huge savings when it comes to storm protection. According to coastalresilience.org, 0.5 square miles of restored wetland habitat will avert approximately $37-252 million in damages in the Tampa Bay area.
Native planting projects are a tool for restoring our lost habitat and protecting our shorelines in the wake of a changing environment. Tampa Bay Watch utilizes native plants in a variety of restoration projects through community planting events and our Bay Grasses in Classes program.
Keep an eye on our volunteer page for opportunities to participate in upcoming wetland planting projects.
Here are a few of our plant species we use to restore a variety of habitats.
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