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.

Living Shorelines

Sustainable Shoreline Solutions

Tampa Bay Watch is at the forefront of addressing shoreline erosion in the Tampa Bay area, utilizing the innovative concept of living shorelines. This method, which incorporates natural and marine-friendly elements such as oyster reef balls, bagged shells, and salt marsh, offers an environmentally sustainable solution that enhances shoreline resilience over time.


What is a living shoreline?

A living shoreline is a natural approach to erosion control, blending strategic placement of plants, stone, sand, and other organic materials to protect and enhance coastal habitats. This method not only provides robust erosion defense but also fosters the preservation of natural shoreline ecosystems, supporting biodiversity and maintaining vital coastal processes. By embracing living shorelines, Tampa Bay Watch actively contributes to the restoration of natural habitats, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional, hard-engineered structures.

Sediment Flow
Ensures natural sediment movement along shorelines.
Provides Habitat
Create and connect diverse animal habitats, provide migratory pathways for plants and animals, and support valuable fisheries.
Plant Adaptation
Provide for shorelines that are resilient to storm damage and sea level rise – A gradually sloping interface between land and sea helps maintain a plant community that can adapt as sea level rises.
Bay filters
Improve water quality in our bays and estuaries by filtering pollutants like a living “kidney."
Carbon Traps
Traps carbon to help reduce the effects of climate change.

Our approach

Living shorelines employ a variety of natural elements to combat coastal erosion effectively while promoting environmental health. Shell bags, often utilized in these projects, provide a stable base for new oyster colonies, enhancing marine biodiversity and water filtration. Oyster reef balls, another key component, create protective barriers that absorb wave energy and foster aquatic life. Additionally, native plants are strategically planted to stabilize soil, reduce erosion, and offer habitats for local wildlife, intertwining ecological restoration with shoreline protection.

Shell Bags

These bags, designed to replicate natural oyster habitats, play a crucial role in restoring and enhancing the diverse shoreline ecosystems of Tampa Bay. Visit the page to discover more about these unique shell bags’ versatility and ecological impact in our community-driven restoration efforts.

Discover the transformative impact of oyster reef balls and how they play a dual role in stabilizing shorelines and fostering habitats akin to natural oyster communities. Learn how these 200-pound marine-friendly structures combat erosion and enhance the ecological balance along Tampa Bay’s shorelines. 

A resilient shoreline, capable of withstanding storm impacts like wave energy and erosion, is vital for the well-being of coastal habitats. Our program is dedicated to enhancing the health of our coastal wetlands.

Email Serra Herndon with questions about this program: [email protected]