November, 2018 – On October 5th, Plan Hillsborough staff once again volunteered to help Tampa Bay Watch’s Community Oyster Reef Enhancement (CORE) program by creating oyster shell reefs in McKay Bay. The goal of the Oyster Shell Bar program is to provide and enhance marine habitat while providing environmental education and stewardship within the Tampa Bay community through hands-on community restoration.
Staff initially volunteered in May as part of the Hillsborough 100 Conservation Challenge, a showcase of conservation projects throughout Hillsborough County. For National Community Planning Month in October, staff decided to return to the project site in McKay Bay to continue the oyster shell reef they had started. It was a treat to see the fruits of our labor in the form of barnacles surrounding the mesh bags placed underwater five months earlier. Improving the health of Tampa Bay makes the hard work and many volunteer hours worth it!