The City of Tampa, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, FDOT and Zephyrhills Water are collaborating on a watershed stewardship project to reduce the non-point source pollution and improve the water quality of the Hillsborough River. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is hosting a series of land and water-based cleanups, storm drain markings and watershed education activities throughout 2016 to develop environmental awareness, stewardship and a respect for our natural resources.
The first event was held in Tampa on January 16 at various locations. Several volunteers helped to protect the Hillsborough River in communities such as Robles Park, Tampa Heights and at Rowlett Park by teaming up to remove trash along the river, installing storm drain markers, and placing door hanger educational materials in residential neighborhoods. See upcoming events.
According to U.S. EPA studies, it is estimated that more than 80% of litter on land ends up in our waterways. The ever-increasing volume of trash and debris entering inland watersheds, coastal waters and oceans creates a water quality and habitat challenge that warrants attention. The focus of these cleanups will drive volunteer efforts to counteract behaviors that damage water quality and cause aesthetic blight and significant ecological effects on native plants and wildlife… Not to mention the damaging economic impacts and possible health risks to residents.