Bay Mini-Grants awarded to 21 community groups
License Tag revenues support grant program
TBEP has awarded nearly $87,000 in grants to schools, neighborhoods, and community organizations throughout Tampa Bay for projects to be completed in 2017. The funds come from sales of the Tampa Bay Estuary specialty license tag.
This year TBEP received a record 38 proposals totaling $169,000 in grant requests. The proposals were reviewed by members of our Community Advisory Committee; our Policy Board approved 21 for full or partial funding.
Activities span age groups and bay communities. Among them:
- Certified NAUI divers will work with middle and high school students from SCUBAnauts International to assess the presence and persistence in bay waters of plastic bead that are a hallmark of the annual Gasparilla celebration in Tampa.
- Audubon's Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries will partner with the Tampa Bay History Center on a special exhibit highlighting the history of conservation in the bay area.
- A pilot project will collect oyster shells from seafood restaurants on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key and recycle them in oyster reef restoration projects at Manatee County nature preserves.
- Residents around Crescent Lake in St. Petersburg will remove non-native plants and install native vegetation along the lake shoreline to improve ecological health and diversity.
- Youth from Manatee County Boys and Girls Clubs will participate in field trips with activities such as kayaking and dip-netting to learn about fish and wildlife, and how they can contribute to conservation.
- Students from various K-12 schools in the bay watershed, including Mulrennan Middle School, Canterbury School, Gulf Beaches Elementary and Manatee School for the Arts, will conduct various restoration and research activities at their school campus or through field trips. Among the school projects funded are collection and analysis of marine debris and microplastics, maintenance of a salt marsh nursery, and restoration of native habitats on or around school properties.