Rock Ponds Ecosystem Restoration Completed

The Southwest Florida Water Management District, in cooperation with Hillsborough County, will hold a dedication event to celebrate the completion of the Rock Ponds Ecosystem Restoration Project.

This is the largest coastal habitat restoration project ever done in the history of Tampa Bay, with approximately 1,043 acres of uplands and wetlands.

Located on three public parcels in the southeastern reaches of Tampa Bay, the project involved sites that historically were coastal pine flatwoods, scattered hardwood hammocks and various estuarine and freshwater habitats.

Use of the upland areas for agricultural purposes and sand/shell mining removed the majority of the historic plant communities and habitat values from these parcels.

Equally important, the project design will help accommodate projected sea-level rise.

The estuarine habitats include:

  • open water tidal channels and lagoons;
  • low and high intertidal marshes;
  • islands;
  • sand/mud flats;
  • deeper water “holes”;
  • natural limestone artificial reefs;
  • more than 16 miles of new Tampa Bay shorelines.

The event will take place on Wednesday, April 13 at 10 a.m. at the project site in Hillsborough County, located 4480 County Line Road in Ruskin.

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