Our Mission

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



Have questions about Tampa Bay Watch? We can help.

Stay Current

Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on all the latest and greatest information.

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.

Vertical Oyster Gardens

Vertical oyster gardens (VOGs) are made of recycled oyster shell from local restaurants, and are suspended from docks to create a hard substrate to which juvenile oysters can attach and develop. As these oysters mature, they become a vital food source for an array of birds and fish. Many small fish, crabs, shrimp, and other critters live among the oysters and provide food for large fish and wildlife. Oysters are natural filters, cleaning up to 2-5  gallons of water per hour. The more oysters we cultivate, the cleaner and healthier our bay becomes!


How does it work?


Ready to become an oyster gardener?

Becoming an oyster gardener is a unique opportunity for community members and waterfront property owners to actively participate in restoring and protecting the vibrant marine life of Tampa Bay. By engaging in oyster gardening, you contribute directly to improving water quality, as each oyster filters and purifies gallons of water daily. This initiative not only enhances the health of our bay but also bolsters local ecosystems, providing essential habitats for various marine species. 



Tampa Bay Watch currently provides VOGs to the public at no cost.

Play Video

Hear Oyster Shell Program Manager, Rick Radigan, describe the importance of VOGs to the community and health of the bay. 


Water Quality Improvement
Each oyster in your garden can filter 2-5 gallons of water per hour, significantly enhancing the clarity and quality of the surrounding water in Tampa Bay.
Marine Habitat Enhancement
VOGs provide crucial habitats for a variety of marine life, including small fish, crabs, and shrimp, thereby supporting a diverse and thriving aquatic ecosystem.
Environmental Stewardship
Participating in oyster gardening demonstrates a commitment to environmental conservation, helping to preserve and restore the natural balance of our coastal waters.
Community Engagement
Joining the oyster gardening community connects you with like-minded individuals and contributes to a lasting positive impact on the health and sustainability of Tampa Bay for future generations.

Email Rick Radigan with questions about this program: [email protected]