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.

Native Plants

Improving the quality of our coastal wetlands

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.

Screenshot 2024-01-27 at 4.08 six months cockroarch bay

Coastal wetlands in the Tampa Bay area have suffered extensive damage due to the overwhelming amount of urban and industrial shoreline development, losing over 40% of historical coastal marsh habitat. The Tampa Bay area ranks in the top ten globally for most vulnerable cities to sea level rise. A small amount of natural coastal habitat can result in huge savings when it comes to storm protection.

Why native plants?

Native plants have numerous benefits for Tampa Bay and its marine and shoreline inhabitants:

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

Our approach

According to coastalresilience.org, 0.5 square miles of restored wetland habitat will avert approximately $37-252 million in damages in the Tampa Bay area.


Native planting projects are a tool for restoring our lost habitat and protecting our shorelines in the wake of a changing environment. Tampa Bay Watch utilizes native plants in a variety of restoration projects through community planting events and our Bay Grasses in Classes program.


Plant Species

Salt Marsh
Spartina alterniflora
Sea Oat
Uniola paniculata
Seashore Paspalum
Paspalum vaginatum
Black Needlerush
Juncus roemerianus

Bay Grasses in Classes

Discover Tampa Bay Watch’s Bay Grasses in Classes program, where students become environmental guardians by cultivating wetland nurseries at their schools and directly contributing to the restoration of the Tampa Bay watershed.

Community Wetland Nursery

Tampa Bay Watch’s Community Wetland Nursery program extends our restoration efforts across diverse communities, offering an inclusive approach to environmental stewardship. By establishing nurseries in public spaces and engaging volunteers in their upkeep, we not only nurture wetland plants but also foster community involvement and environmental awareness among individuals of all ages and backgrounds.


Email Tara Kok, Native Planting Program Coordinator, with questions about this program: tkok@tampabaywatch.org