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Habitat Restoration in Tampa Bay
Over the last 100 years Tampa Bay has undergone dramatic changes to habitat and water quality conditions due to widespread and uncontrolled dredging and filling activities, exponential population growth, commercial and recreational misuse, and rapid urbanization of its watershed. As a result of the widespread decline of its natural conditions, the Tampa Bay estuary has lost 16,000 acres of seagrass communities, 5,400 acres of mangroves and salt marsh, and the vast majority of its oyster reef communities since the 1950s. These dramatic losses of habitat have resulted in widespread declines of commercial and recreational species of fish and wildlife, water quality impacts which prevent seafood consumption, recreational access to public beaches, and healthy living conditions for the wildlife resources that call Tampa Bay home.
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