tampa bay soundings
volume 1     number 1     summer 2002


Mary Kelley Hoppe
Victoria Parsons

contributing writers
Bill Burger
Neil Mingledorff Jr.
Ann Paul

Barbara Smithey Design

editorial advisory board

Suzanne Cooper
Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council

Dick Eckenrod
Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Frank Hearne
Mechanik, Nuccio, Bentley
Williams, Hearne & Wester, P.A.

Allan Horton
Sarasota Herald Tribune

Robin Lewis
Lewis Environmental Services

Don Sayre
Florida Power & Light

Francia Smith
Sawgrass Lake Park

Shannon Smith
Gulfstream Natural Gas System

Sanda Thomson
Roberts Communications

Roger Tucker
Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council

Fred Webb
Hillsborough Community College

Sherrie K. Henne





We welcome your feedback!
Please send comments or suggestions to: editor@baysoundings.com

For a complimentary subscription, email us at: circulation@baysoundings.com

Administrative offices:
Tampa Bay Soundings
c/o Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
9455 Koger Blvd.  Suite 219
St. Petersburg, FL 33702-2491




Piney Point
Back from the Brink?

Behind the Scenes
Phosphate Mining in Florida

Anatomy of a Restoration
Restoring the Terra Ceia

Living on the Edge
Florida's Beach-Nesting Birds


Tarpon Tag
Sales Soar in 2002

Area Residents "Give a Day for the Bay"

The Hermit of Mariposa Key

What's in a Name?


Tampa Bay:
By the Numbers

Gus Muench
Commercial Crabber

follow through
State, Counties Plan New Manatee Zones
FP&L Writing New Chapter for Manatee Plant
Black Water May Have Silver Lining


creature feature
The Horseshoe Crab

Summer/Fall 2002

backbay adventures
Exploring the Upper Hillsborough River



area map

Dive In!

Explore the magnificent waterworld and surrounding coastlands of Tampa Bay with Tampa Bay Soundings

Welcome to Tampa Bay Soundings

It doesn't take an artist to appreciate fine art, and you don't have to live on the water or own a boat to be enchanted by Tampa Bay. Florida's largest open-water estuary is a recreational paradise, a haven and nursery for fish and wildlife, and a bustling seaport serving skyscraper-size ships from distant lands. It's also a place more than two million people call home, proudly identifying themselves as residents of Tampa Bay as often or more than they single out the city or town where they live.

Tampa Bay Soundings was created to chronicle the news and issues affecting the bay and its surrounding watershed, while profiling the people and places, creatures and habitats that make it so compelling. Our format will allow us to delve deeper and more thoughtfully explore the region's complex issues, while following up on important stories the general news media may abandon. While the editorial focus is natural resources, our target audience is broad-based, from scientists, biologists and boaters to bayside residents, policymakers, nature lovers and kids of all ages with nothing more than a healthy curiosity about this water wonderland.

After decades of dredging, development and disregard, Tampa Bay is mounting a comeback thanks to efforts of committed individuals and organizations, enlightened businesses and government officials. The water is clearer and seagrasses are flourishing again in areas where they have been absent for decades. But numerous challenges remain.

Behind the scenes, countless individuals, organizations and businesses are working vigorously to protect and enhance our natural resources. Evidence of their work is reflected in the resurgence of underwater grass beds, wetland restoration adding back hundreds of acres of shoreline habitat, and sophisticated vessel positioning systems making navigation safer. Add to that numerous smaller, citizen-powered bay improvement activities, from beach cleanups to salt marsh plantings to simple acts like landscaping with water-thrifty native plants. These are stories worth telling, people worth meeting.

Here's what Soundings has set out to do:

  • Inform and enlighten with stories that take you on the bay, beneath its surface, and along the shores, rivers, creeks and surrounding uplands.
  • Provide independent, unbiased, factual information based on the best available science.
  • Introduce you to fascinating people whose lives and livelihood are inextricably linked to the bay.
  • Start conversations and stimulate healthy debates.
  • Debunk old myths and challenge conventional thinking.
  • Whet your appetite for walking on the wild side with Back Bay Adventures featured in each issue.
  • Foster a greater appreciation for a healthy bay and inspire you to action.

Throughout Soundings, you'll find opportunities to share your ideas and opinions with editors, writers and other readers, along with a calendar of bay-related events and volunteer opportunities. We hope you take advantage of those opportunities. And we want to hear from you.

Finally, our sincere thanks to the following charter sponsors and partners for making Soundings possible: Pinellas County Environmental Foundation; Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council; Tampa Bay Estuary Program; Gulfstream Natural Gas System; Southwest Florida Water Management District; Tampa Port Authority; Cargill Fertilizer, Inc.; CF Industries Inc.; Florida Power & Light Company; and Richard Davis, P.A.

To share your comments and suggestions, email editor@baysoundings.com, or write us at Tampa Bay Soundings, c/o Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, 9455 Koger Blvd. Suite 219, St. Petersburg, FL 33702-2491.


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