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.

Bay Grasses in Classes

Empowering youth in wetland restoration

Tampa Bay Watch’s Bay Grasses in Classes (BGIC) program aims to facilitate youth involvement in habitat restoration efforts by allowing students to work side-by–side with local scientists to help restore the Tampa Bay watershed. At participating schools, students help to create a wetland nursery where they plant, maintain, and harvest estuarine wetland plants to be replanted into targeted coastal areas. Throughout the school year, state standard-aligned educational curriculum is offered in conjunction with our service learning projects in order to provide critical knowledge and promote environmental stewardship.


Why school plantings?

Benefits of coastal wetland plants

Shoreline Shields
Stabilizes shorelines and protects against erosion.
Marine Nurseries
Offers a thriving haven for fish and aquatic life.
Storm Buffers
Absorbs wave energy from storms.
Eco Filters
Filters pollutants and marine debris from entering our waterways.

How does it work?

The BGIC program allows students to be involved in each step of the process, from constructing and planting the nursery to transplanting their nursery-raised salt marsh at a restoration site. The students return to the nursery to split and re-plant the remaining grasses to start the process again.

The Planting Process


Harvest & build the nursery

Newsome marsh pull_32

Plant the nursery

East Bay 8-1-12

Monitor growth


Transplant to restoration site


Recycle & repeat

Newsome Recycle Pics Mar 28, 2018_63

Check out our BGIC resource page to view previous plantings and additional information about the program.


Pinellas County:
Canterbury School of Florida
Lakewood High School
Richard O. Jacobson Technical High School
Shorecrest Preparatory School

Hillsborough County Schools:
Bell Creek Academy
Brandon High School
Channelside Academy of Math & Science
East Bay High School
Literacy Leadership Tech Academy- Tampa and South Bay campuses

Questions? Email Tara Kok, Restoration Specialist and BGIC program lead: [email protected]

Community Wetland Nursery

The Bay Grasses in Classes program depends on the generous support of the Tampa Bay community. By sponsoring a nursery, you will provide a source of native wetland plants for use in habitat restoration projects while giving students valuable hands-on experience in habitat restoration activities. Not only do these efforts support science education, they also foster a new generation of environmental stewards.

In addition to the value this program provides to the community, sponsorship includes a number of recognition and branding benefits. If you are interested in learning more about sponsoring the Bay Grasses in Classes program, contact Molly Robison [email protected].