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TBEP Wins Award for Seagrass Program

A unique effort to recreate sandbars along a Tampa Bay shoreline to foster recovery of seagrasses has earned a Merit Award from The Planning Commission in Hillsborough County in its 2011 Community Designs Awards.

The project at MacDill Air Force Base, a collaborative effort led by the Estuary Program and involving 10 other key partners, seeks to restore 50 acres of seagrass in Hillsborough Bay by installing artificial sandbars to help buffer wave erosion that is inhibiting seagrass growth. The project is testing four different bar designs.

TBEP is coordinating the $560,000 project, with tremendous assistance from the Tampa Port Authority and MacDill AFB officials. MacDill was chosen as the research site because longshore bars historically existed there, and because it is a no-entry area for boaters, ensuring that the bars will not pose a navigation hazard.