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YEAR 2009 - CRP Project #8003 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #8003
Habitat Restoration thru Removal of Entangling Debris near Tampa Fishing Piers

Pinellas County, Florida

Project name:   Habitat Restoration thru Removal of Entangling Debris near Tampa Fishing Piers  
Project number:   8003  
Project status:   In Progress  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)  
Grantee:   Ocean Conservancy  
Project location:   Tampa Bay Area, Florida  
Grant period:   Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2020  
Grant amount:   $46,191  
Land Ownership:   All project sites are public, including sovereign submerged lands and the associated shoreline  
Lat/Long:   27.65/82.67  
Types of Habitat:   Hard bottom, mangrove shorelines, coral reefs  
Project leader:   Jessica Koelsch, Program Manager
Florida Marine Wildlife Program
1300 19th Street, 8th Floor
Washington, DC NW 20036

Map of project site - click to enlarge
Map of project site

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
   Mangrove Forest
   Sea Grasses
   Salt Marshes
   Coral Reefs
   Marine fish
   Marine Turtles
   Sea Birds

Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
80-100 Acres Preserved

Project Summary:
Debris will be removed at four Tampa Bay locations: North Skyway Fishing Pier, Gandy Bridge West Catwalk, Ft. Desoto Gulf Pier and St. Petersburg Municipal Pier. Ocean Conservancy will coordinate and conduct underwater cleanups focusing on removal of entangling debris, community-based shoreline cleanups of all debris, and public outreach aimed at prevention. Volunteer divers from the Florida Aquarium will assist at some sites, while commercial divers will be contracted at others. Shallow water/shoreline cleanups and "top-side" pier cleanups will be conducted using commonly employed methods, such as those for Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup. Bimonthly, a shoreline cleanup will be held at one pier site. To prevent additional entangling debris from entering the marine habitat, we will install fishing line recycling bins as needed and "Pier Walkers."

On-the-Ground Activities:

  • Remove at minimum 5,000 pounds of entangling underwater debris from bay and estuarine habitat.
  • Conduct bi-monthly community-based coastal cleanups of the shallow-waters, surrounding shorelines, and fishing piers to remove at least 5,000 pounds of debris engaging at least 150 200 community volunteers.
  • Install at least 15 -20 fishing line recycling bins at sites without adequate bins for regular line disposal to prevent additional line from entering habitat.

Community Involvement:
This project involves citizens and local community partners in all aspects of its implementation. Project success depends on strong community participation for the on-going shoreline cleanups at all the fishing piers. Volunteers with the Florida Aquarium Dive Team will conduct underwater cleanups at sites without hazards of tide, depth, or overhang. Volunteers with kayaks and motor boats will assist with underwater and shoreline cleanups. Numerous community citizens will learn about debris and habitat restoration by volunteering with cleanups, installing fishing line recycling bins, or doing educational outreach with anglers at fishing piers. Local seabird sanctuaries, including Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary and Save our Seabirds, will assist with cleanups and angler outreach (Pier Walking). Eckerd College students will be instrumental in the project, by participating in cleanups, maintaining fishing line recycling bins, and conducting angler outreach during their duties as volunteer pier walkers.


Ocean Conservancy
Ocean Conservancy

NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Misener Marine

Florida Aquarium Green Team

Eckerd College

Keep Florida Beautiful

Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties

Fishing Pier Staff

Tampa Bay Watch

Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary

Save our Seabirds


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Watch Video of CRP Project #8003
Video of CRP #8003 project leader Jessica Koelsch at project site.

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
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webmaster: Carrie Robertson