Our Mission

Tampa Bay Watch is dedicated to fostering a healthy Tampa Bay watershed through community-driven restoration projects, education programs, and outreach initiatives.



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Discovery Center

Explore our educational space on the St. Pete Pier, featuring interactive exhibits, daily programs, and a touch tank full of animals from the estuary!

Together, we can bring life to the bay.

It takes a community to make lasting change and protect the future of Tampa Bay’s ecosystem.


Volunteer Calendar

Check out all of our upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Become A Member

Are you passionate about protecting our waterways? Take a stand for Tampa Bay’s future.

Our annual events are designed to educate, entertain, and strengthen the community.

Host an unforgettable occasion at our beautiful waterfront event space.

Restoring and protecting the Tampa Bay estuary.



At Tampa Bay Watch, our Restoration team is deeply committed to the health and vitality of Tampa Bay’s unique ecosystems. With a hands-on approach and a passion for addressing the challenges facing our waterways, we collaborate with dedicated volunteers to restore and protect the natural habitats that are crucial for wildlife and the broader community.

Our team engages in a variety of restoration projects. Each initiative is designed with scientific rigor and a deep understanding of ecological balance, ensuring that every effort contributes meaningfully to the larger goal of environmental resilience.

Shells for Shorelines

Transforming discarded oyster shells from local restaurants into valuable ecological assets.


MacDill's Transformation: Erosion to Ecosystem

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Key Milestones


In 2004, Tampa Bay Watch, in partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD), initiated the Living Shoreline Pilot Project at MacDill Air Force Base. The project aimed to evaluate various materials—Oyster Reef Balls, Oyster Shell Bags, and Loose Shell—and configurations to determine their effectiveness in halting shoreline erosion in the area. Later that year, coastal marshes were introduced behind the pilot project to assess whether the living shoreline could safeguard these critical habitats


In 2010, Tampa Bay Watch achieved a significant milestone by planting and restoring 500,000 sq ft (approximately 11.4 acres) of coastal marshes at MacDill AFB. By integrating hard substrates with coastal marshes, Tampa Bay Watch discovered an effective method for regenerating these marshes and preventing erosion.


In 2018, Tampa Bay Watch achieved another significant milestone by creating over 10,560 feet (more than 2 miles) of linear living shoreline at MacDill AFB.


In 2023, Tampa Bay Watch achieved a milestone by deploying over 10,000 Oyster Reef Balls at MacDill AFB as part of our Living Shorelines initiative. Each Oyster Reef Ball, once encrusted with oysters, can filter up to 50,000 gallons of water daily. This means that these 10,000 ORBs collectively have the potential to filter up to 500 million gallons of water in the Tampa Bay Estuary every day.

Our Impact

square feet of shorelines restored

Since our founding in 1993, Tampa Bay Watch has restored over 1.5 million square feet of shoreline, transforming these areas into thriving habitats for a diverse range of species and bolstering natural defenses against storms and other environmental challenges.