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Tampa Bay Water Atlas

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Hillsborough Bay Watershed

Hillsborough Bay Watershed



This section includes information about the geography and land use within the watershed, including the historical and current forms of land use.

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Map Legend

Water Quality sampling site
Hydrology sampling site
Closest Rainfall site
Rainfall sampling site
Multi-type sampling site
Other sampling site


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Source(s): U.S. Department of Commerce

The following information illustrates the change in population within the watershed during the past few decades. Statistics shown are only for the watershed area within the boundary of this Water Atlas.

Total Population within each Watershed from 1970-2020
Watershed 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020  
Boca Ciega Bay Watershed 216,370 281,826 313,279 328,027 318,423 330,482 Graph
Coastal Old Tampa Bay Watershed 174,873 285,124 428,966 516,206 560,500 621,022 Graph
Coastal Pinellas/Anclote Watershed 112,051 202,027 262,577 265,580 298,207 321,613 Graph
Hillsborough Bay Watershed 421,827 575,899 726,898 846,609 1,118,847 1,336,800 Graph
Lower Tampa Bay Watershed 5,795 6,199 18,768 10,533 15,037 19,246 Graph
Manatee River Watershed 58,542 88,646 128,613 141,199 194,032 251,565 Graph
Middle Tampa Bay Watershed 164,990 181,251 185,012 206,388 216,717 246,845 Graph
Terra Ceia Bay Watershed 4,352 8,141 8,885 12,242 13,888 13,793 Graph
Totals for All Watershed Areas 1,158,800 1,629,113 2,072,998 2,326,784 2,735,651 3,141,366  

Source(s): U.S. Department of Commerce

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    Land Acquisition and Protection

    The Florida Natural Areas Inventory is the primary source for information on Florida's conservation lands. The Inventory database includes boundaries and statistics for more than 1,400 federal, state, local, and private managed areas, all provided directly by the managing agencies. National parks, state forests, wildlife management areas, local and private preserves are examples of the managed areas included.

    18% of the land area within the Hillsborough Bay Watershed is under protection.

    The amount of protected land under federal, state, local, and private ownership
    Ownership Area (square miles)
    Federal 2.04
    Local 93.55
    Private 4.21
    State 137.26
    Source: Florida Natural Areas Inventory
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      Land Use / Land Cover

      Land Cover categorizes the land in terms of the observed physical surface characteristics. For example, while the land use may be classified as agricultural, the land cover may be classified as upland or wetland. Learn more about land use and land cover »

      Interactive Land Use Viewer

      The interactive map shown below demonstrates how the use of land within and around Hillsborough Bay Watershed has changed over time. Use the slider control at the top left of the map to change the year displayed. Use the visibility slider at the top right to change the opacity of the land use layer.

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      Land Use Legend

      • Urban & Built-up
      • Agriculture
      • Rangeland
      • Upland Forests
      • Water
      • Wetlands
      • Barren Land
      • Utilities
      • Watershed Boundary
      Acreage and Percentage within each Land Use / Land Cover Category for Hillsborough Bay Watershed
      Year Urban & Built-up Agriculture Rangeland Upland Forests Water Wetlands Barren Land Transportation and Utilities
      Acres% Acres% Acres% Acres% Acres% Acres% Acres% Acres%
      2020489,67847169,8271628,933377,872755,9445190,893181,710< 130,7163
      2017374,12646141,3971720,614262,216851,4976146,721182,147< 122,0173
      2014360,68844139,0691724,313370,364948,9056149,876184,826< 122,3323
      2011364,19844145,7601823,520363,795850,1016149,791182,058< 121,1523
      2010367,18645149,6611823,557362,857849,8886145,412181,720< 120,0942
      2009369,26445151,4891823,329362,954848,8596143,162181,682< 119,6372
      2008368,55945156,0861924,409366,317846,2686137,176172,555< 119,0042
      2007356,42344169,6932124,677370,161938,4645131,748162,585< 118,6792
      2006359,15644165,1372024,342367,592846,6676136,607171,998< 118,8762
      1999302,88737211,7482633,105474,997940,9905137,165172,916< 116,5662
      1995284,02535227,6652836,986476,836938,7625138,744171,793< 115,5632
      1990273,31333234,9132938,949578,1921035,6884140,384173,442< 115,5382

      Source(s): Southwest Florida Water Management District

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