Tampa Bay gives us so many opportunities to enjoy life by the water. Giving back to the bay is a great way to feel connected to our natural surroundings while ensuring that future generations can also enjoy them.
Locations will change each week.
Session 1 (3/8): Invasion in the Bay. Location: Discovery Center Classroom, 700 2nd Avenue NE, St. Petersburg
- During this session, participants are invited into the Discovery Center's state of the art classroom to learn from our educators. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes peek into the complex world of invasive species—how they arrived here, how they impact the local ecosystem, and what Tampa Bay Watch and other organizations are doing to solve the problem. You'll be guided through a lionfish dissection, meet invasive animal ambassadors (perhaps our cane toads, Willy and Wonka, will make an appearance), and practice using citizen science tools. Participants will also have a chance to sample an invasive lionfish snack. Expect to leave this program with new knowledge and skills that will help you advocate for smarter management of invasive species in and around Tampa Bay.
Session 2 (3/15): Water Quality—Challenges and Solutions. Location: Boat-based aboard Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center's eco-vessel, 400 2nd Avenue NE, Slip Q47, St. Petersburg
- Board the eco-vessel Discovery for an introduction to Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Watch, and ecology. Then we'll dive into water quality on the water—what causes water quality problems, how water quality impacts humans and animals, research and solutions. You'll hear about locally relevant issues such as harmful algal blooms, plastic pollution, industrial and mercury contamination and more. During this boat trip, participants will assist with data collection for a hands-on citizen science project that helps scientists understand how animal populations are affected by water quality changes and events. Discovery Center educators will also conduct a plankton tow and share findings under a microscope. The harmful algal cells, microorganisms, plastic particles and other ecosystem components we find will offer a unique peek into the current health of Tampa Bay!
Session 3 (3/22): Giving Back to the Bay. Location: Lassing Park, 2042 Beach Drive SE, St. Petersburg
- Tampa Bay gives us so many opportunities to enjoy life by the water. Giving back to the bay is a great way to feel connected to our natural surroundings while ensuring that future generations can also enjoy them. Participants in this session will spend part of the day with members of Tampa Bay Watch, who will lead a field trip to Lassing Park. We'll visit a recent Living Shoreline installation and have the option to get our feet wet while hearing about why and how these volunteer-supported projects benefit humans, our local ecosystem and the global ocean. You'll discover what happens behind the scenes to plan, coordinate and fund a Living Shoreline, find out why our water quality depends on healthy habitats and buld a vertical oyster garden to take home or donate for installation on a local dock. This is an active program, so wear comfortable clothing and prepare to get your shoes muddy, if you'd like!
This activity requires a signed waiver in order to participate.