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.


Protecting our underwater forests

Learn about the fascinating world of seagrasses, the submerged flowering plants thriving in Florida’s bays, lagoons, and coastal waters. These underwater forests, reliant on clear waters for light, are not only oxygen producers like their terrestrial counterparts but also form a crucial part of our coastal ecosystem.


Why are seagrasses important?

Food Source
Seagrass beds are feeding grounds for a variety of species such as the Florida Manatee, various species of turtles, sharks, and rays. These animals forage in the seagrass, feeding on the grass itself or on the smaller creatures that inhabit the grasses.
Marine Nurseries
Seagrass communities serve as nurseries for juvenile fish, crabs, and shrimp that later move offshore, as well as provide habitat for threatened and endangered species such as the smalltooth sawfish.
Nature's Purifiers
Seagrasses serve to improve water quality by reducing nutrients in the water column, and they are important components in energy and nutrient cycles, as well as estuarine and coastal food webs.
Aquatic Homesteads
Seagrass communities in Tampa Bay provide vital habitat for recreationally and commercially important fish and invertebrate species.

Our approach

Here in Tampa Bay, three species of seagrasses make up the majority of our habitats. These three species are sometimes found mixed together within one area, but typically they compete with each other and are forced to grow in certain areas and depths.

Plant Species

Shoal Grass
Halodule wrightii
Turtle Grass
Thalassia testudinum
Manatee Grass
Syringodium filliforme


To support the Tampa Bay Estuary Program’s management goal of maintaining 40,000 acres of seagrass in Tampa Bay, it is important to explore opportunities for ongoing seagrass restoration projects. Tampa Bay Watch has a history of conducting several successful transplanting projects throughout the bay by pulling grass from a permitted donor area for transplanting into the permitted project area.


Tampa Bay Watch participates as a member of the Tampa Bay Interagency Seagrass Monitoring Program which conducts annual seagrass surveys at about 60 Tampa Bay bay-wide fixed length transects. The program, a joint effort among several Tampa Bay agencies, takes a look at trends of the Tampa Bay seagrass communities at the species level.


Email Serra Herndon, Habitat Restoration Director, with questions about this program: sherndon@tampabaywatch.org