September 2020 – Urban Rivers, a 501(3)c non-profit organization, is proposing living shoreline enhancements along the Hillsborough River. In recent years several areas of the lower Hillsborough River were enhanced with living shorelines or other restored habitats which not only beautified the river but provided wildlife habitat and water cleansing benefits. These include USF Park, Lowry Park, Steward Middle School, and most notably Ulele/Water Works Park. The aesthetically pleasing and ecologically functional improvements can be a draw for recreational users of the River. Urban Rivers is in the processing of identifying potential pilot projects along the river and interested partners and stakeholders to expand such ecological enhancements. Meetings between Urban Rivers and the City of Tampa are ongoing. The organization presented this effort to the River Board’s Technical Advisory Council (TAC) at their August meeting. The TAC advised Urban Rivers on how permitting of such projects would occur. While pilot locations are identified with City of Tampa staff, Urban Rivers is pursing various options for funding.
Urban Rivers has also had recent success with their Wild Mile project in Chicago. More information about Urban Rivers can be found at www.urbanriv.org.