A public-private partnership created by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program to reduce nitrogen pollution has received the inaugural Coastal Stewardship Award from the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF).
CERF noted that Tampa Bay’s Nitrogen Management Consortium “demonstrated impressive achievements in all the key criteria considered important in the mission of CERF to promote the wise use of science and management toward the stewardship of estuaries and coasts around the world.”
Members of TBEP’s Nitrogen Management Consortium – including cities, counties and key industries bordering the bay – have implemented more than 500 projects to reduce the amount of harmful nitrogen entering the bay. Those efforts have made Tampa Bay one of the only urban estuaries in the world where water quality is increasing even as the population in its surrounding watershed has nearly tripled.
The consortium’s success in engaging diverse stakeholders also was lauded by a sister watershed management program in Chesapeake Bay.
“We watched and learned from their extraordinary efforts to reach out and directly engage all the source sectors, local governments, businesses, and advocacy groups, and make them part of the shared decision-making process. They effectively blurred the lines between public and private, turning us and them into we,” said Rich Batiuk, an EPA scientist who has been involved with the Chesapeake Bay Program for 25 years.
CERF is a national federation of coastal and estuarine scientists and managers dedicated to advancing knowledge and wise use of estuaries and coasts. Every two years, CERF recognizes individual excellence in the fields of coastal and estuarine science, management and education through several scientific and service awards. This is the first year the federation has honored an organization, project or program as well.
Learn more at http://www.erf.org/cerf-2017-scientific-award-recipients.
Originally published August 2017