Lights Out to Protect Sea Turtles

Sea turtle nesting season is under way and ends Oct. 31. Newly hatched turtles find their way to the sea by following the natural light reflected by the water. Young turtles have a small amount of energy that must take them to the water, which under natural conditions is the brightest spot on the nighttime beach. If they disorient and head the wrong way, they may starve to death before landing in the floating sargassum weeds that are their food source.

Clearwater city ordinances determine specific lighting requirements for beach parking lots, streets and promenades to protect sea turtles. If you live near the beach, make sure you shut off or dim your lights at night. If you play at the beach, follow these tips from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to help protect sea turtle nests:

  • Take all personal belongings from the beach at the end of the day so no obstacles exist on the way to the water.
  • Flatten sand castles and fill in holes.
  • Pick up and properly dispose of litter on the beach.
  • Stay off the dunes and use the designated walkovers for crossing.
  • Shield any artificial lighting that might shine toward the beach.

The Tampa Bay area averages about 120 nests each season, and each nest can contain an average of about 100 eggs.

If you are lucky enough to find a turtle nest on the beach, don’t disturb it. If the nest is unmarked, notify the Clearwater Marine Aquarium at (727) 441-1790. They also will be able to provide more information about sea turtle nesting season.

Information Courtesy of the City of Clearwater

GARDEN GAB: Earth Day, Green Thumb Festival & More 

If you missed MFA’s glorious Art In Bloom exhibition through April 3rd, don’t give up hope. You can still enjoy all of spring’s garden bounty at these events and festivals. One of the newest Facebook crazes in Paradise (and elsewhere) is rockers, artists who create whimsical art on rocks and leave them for others to delightfully find.


April 22nd is Mother Nature’s special birthday and Pinellas celebrates all things green with a flourish.

April 20 5:30- 8:30 pm Movie Night At The Museum – A Plastic Ocean:  Join Chart 411, St Pete Earth Day, St Petersburg Museum of History (where the film will be screened), Suncoast Sierra Club and Suncoast Surfrider Foundation for an evening of enlightenment and entertainment. Tasty food, cash bar, and a second chance to see the award winning film and enjoy cocktails and light food.

April 22 10 am – 10 pm St. Petersburg Earth Day Celebration

Enjoy a day filled with interactive exhibits, good food, great music, shopping vendors, and the chance to learn how to do your part to create a more sustainable planet. In the evening, The Concert For The Earth, Earth Day After Party features some of the best music on earth! Williams Park, 330 2nd Ave. N. DTSP

Get Creative: The UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County is currently accepting entries for the 2017 Earth Day Mail Art competition.  Entries in each category will be judged by age groups (12 and under, 13-18, and 18 and over). Prizes include a guided hike of Weedon Island Preserve, gardening-themed prize packs, energy saving kits, a tour of the Pinellas County Solid Waste Facility and more. To qualify, entries must be postmarked by Wednesday, April 5.

All artwork must be original and must not contain reproduction of existing artwork or images. Artists must include their name, email address, phone number, age and category that the artwork should be judged in. Winners will be contacted by phone or email by Friday, April 21.

Contest judges are looking for distinctive handmade entries based on the following themes:

  • #ToEarthWithLove: creative art about giving back to Earth by recycling, composting and conserving water ·
  • #LoveTampaBay: art pieces that express love for Tampa Bay’s waters and wildlife
  • #PlasticAware: visualize how plastics impact the environment, people and/or communities

Submit artwork to: UF/IFAS Exension Pinellas County  Earth Day Mail Art Contest Attention: Trevor Ackerman 12520 Ulmerton Road Largo, FL 33774

All entries will be posted on the Pinellas Extension Facebook page and automatically entered in the “Facebook Fan Favorite” contest. That winner will receive a special prize as well. Vote for those entries at  FYI:

April 22-23  9 am – 4 pm Green Thumb Festival: Plants, kids stuff, free stuff, music, food court and a soil and water clinic is fun for the whole family and best of all, it’s free There are environmental and horticultural exhibits and vendors – with every kind of plant imaginable; a recycling rally; children’s tree climbing, a garden wagon parade, free mulch, a plant auction, free butterfly plants, more than 1,000 trees for sale for $5 and Ask An Arborist helps solve every problem. Walter Fuller Recreation Center 7891 26th Ave. N

The Flower Show:  As part of the two day Green Thumb Festival, The Garden Club of St. Petersburg offers a standard flower show in the Walter Fuller Recreation Center. Garden club members display their creativity through juried floral designs and crafts interpreting gardens from around the world. Exhibits are designed interpreting a new theme each year. Orchids, African violets, bromeliads and cacti are just a few of the over 200 plants on view. These judged horticulture exhibits share the passion for gardening through plants. Garden members grow these plants for at least three months prior to the show. While this is a juried show, the public is invited to vote for their own best of show in both the horticulture and floral design category.


Their 2nd annual “Tour of Private & Public Gardens” starts with FBG and tours six different private home gardens. Purchase a wristband and pick up your map at the FBG Gift Shop.


500 Sunset Drive South, St. Petersburg 727-381-8920

May 1, 10:00 a.m.Creative Crafts: Cost of materials:  members $3.50; guests $4.50 and you take what you craft.

May 6, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., The 1ST ANNUAL GARDEN WALK presented by the Garden Club of St. Petersburg will start at 500 Sunset Drive South.  Tickets are $20.00 each. Enjoy vendors and refreshments and tour diverse and creative gardens.

May 9, 7:00 p.m., “African Violets,” speaker Phyllis King.  Presented by the Night Bloomers Circle. The cost is $5.00 for guests.

May 13, 9:30-11:30 a.m., “Flower Power:  Wild flowers of Florida.  Why are they so important to our landscape?” This event is for Junior Gardner’s and will be held at Pioneer Park, 1st Avenue South, St Petersburg.  Registration is for 7-12 year olds and must be completed in advance at

May 13, 12:00 noon, “Plant Auction,” with auctioneers Ashley Graham and H. Alton Lee.


Whether you’re at the nursery contemplating snapdragons vs. begonias or walking the Florida Botanical Gardens, April and May bloom with flower exhibits and shows.  We recently discovered Orchid Friends (727-420-4001) and already have the MFA Art In Bloom show on our 2018 calendar (seen here).

April 8 10 am -4 pm, April 9 10 am – 3pm USF Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Festival: Speakers and workshops and all the plants you need to jumpstart your garden 12210 USF Pine Dr. Tampa

May 6, 10 am – 2pm – Day Lily Flower Show: The Bay Area Daylily Society will be hosting our at a new location due to construction on Gandy Boulevard. Free admission.  Wilcox Nursery 12501 Indian Rocks Road Largo  

Boyd Hill Wildflower Walk: On Saturdays, you can take a guided stroll through the preserve and see Florida wildflowers. 1101 Country Club Wasy, DTSP

Butterfly Gardens: MOSI Bioworks Butterfly Garden in Tampa, the Florida Botanical Gardens and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens all host flowering arbors for fluttering butterflies.

Leavin’ An Impression: Anna Orr and Marty Bosy Newton make ceramic imprints of exquisite leaves they handpaint and turn into centerpieces, garden art and bird baths. They will be at the Green Thumb Festival, or you can email them at


Tampa Bay Watch’s 12 Annual Ed Alber Tarpon Rodeo

Tampa Bay Watch will host the 12th Annual Ed Alber Tarpon Rodeo, a catch and release fishing tournament on June 8 & 9 with cash prizes totaling $4,000. Anglers will fish their favorite spots throughout Tampa Bay from one mile offshore running north to Redington Fishing Pier and south to Longboat Pass. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Tampa Bay Watch, a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect and restore the marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs.

The tournament festivities will kick off at the TradeWinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach on Thursday, June 8 at 6pm with exciting live and silent auctions, great food and drinks, and the Captain’s Meeting. Anglers will hunt for the Silver King on Tampa Bay during the all-release tarpon tournament on Friday, June 9 from 2-8pm. Vessels will launch from the Fort De Soto Park boat ramp. The Awards Ceremony will be held at the Tampa Bay Watch Marine Center from 8-10pm for anglers to enjoy a well-deserved meal by Bonefish Grill.

The tournament is open to the public but it is sure to fill up fast with anglers who love to fish, catch and release! To register, please call Tampa Bay Watch at 727-867-8166 x234 or visit Several sponsorship packages are available at various levels from $800 to $5,000. This is a great opportunity for businesses to gain advertising exposure and philanthropic recognition through being associated with this highly visible tournament.

Individual tickets to the Captain’s Banquet are $75 each if purchased prior to April 30. The Sport Division is open to Bronze Sponsors ($1,500) and individual boat entries. Gold ($5,000) and Silver ($3,000) sponsors will be eligible to compete in the Great Bay Guardians Division.  Like in previous events, tarpon and shark (minimum 24”) are eligible. The winning boat will be determined by total number of tarpon or shark legally released per boat.

Tampa Bay Watch is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) stewardship program dedicated exclusively to the charitable and scientific purpose of protecting and restoring the marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary encompassing over 400 square miles of open water and 2,300 square miles of highly- developed watershed. Tampa Bay Watch involves more than 10,000 youth and adult volunteers each year in hands on habitat restoration projects. For more information, visit, or call 727-867-8166.

Hubbards Fishing Report March 2017

Fishing report

Inshore- Snook fishing this past week went very well inside Johns Pass. Ryan Cloke from Tampa and his father Howard stopped in to fish the beach behind Hubbard’s Marina and left a few hours later after they got tired of catching so many snook on live shrimp and tail hooked live pigfish. Tim smith, from Reddington, was fishing the jetty and under the bridge catching nice sheepshead and flounder using live shrimp weighted to bottom at the tail end of outgoing tide this past week. Inshore on the flats, Kyle Morrison and his buddies were drifting the flats for nice sized trout and one monster bull red using live shrimp free lined on an incoming tide. Pompano are around the jetties too, just takes a skilled approach to target them. I like to use a doc’s jig or Nekid ball jig and bounce them along the bottom to mimic the pompano’s favorite bait the sand flea.

Near shore- The weather this week was very similar to last week, we had a front mid-week that ruined our chances for fishing for two days again. However, we were able to get some great trips in before the front brought its rain, wind and waves. Early this past week the hog bite was firing, we had tons of snapper and even some red grouper. Now that the bad weather has cleared were hoping for a weekend of good fishing and great weather. We have a weak front coming in through Saturday but were not expecting it to have a great effect on the weather. You can always check the weather on our site, by going to info then click ‘weather links’.

Offshore- Last weekend’s 39 hour did some awesome catching, wouldn’t even call it fishing. The 12 hour extreme this past weekend did the same but unfortunately was struggling to get away from the monster ‘endangered’ red snapper that seemed to be everywhere and the big ‘overfished’ gag grouper were thick and aggressive on each spot. We were able to get baits down to some big jacks, red grouper, mangroves, vermillion, yellowtail and more on the trips. The 39 hour even caught a mid 40lb monster kingfish while amberjack fishing. The big mangroves were the highlight of the trip however, many in the 7-10lb range were caught. You should really see the latest videos on Facebook as we have been doing video updates after each long range trip returns:

Want to read the past reports? Check out this link:

Tampa Bay Ferry and Taxi News

We are expecting beautiful weather this weekend and hope you have the opportunity to come out and join us aboard the Tampa Bay Ferry! Catch the ferry at one of our many stops and head out for lunch/dinner and some shopping or just cruise the Intracoastal Waterway and observe all the unique, wonderful sights our area has to offer, as well as possible dolphin sightings along the way!

Our Jungle Prada stop is adjacent to the Sacred Lands Preservation which offers tours every Sunday at 4pm. Get there early and enjoy lunch at Jungle Prada Tavern. Or perhaps stop in for dinner after the tour and then catch a relaxing 8:10pm ferry ride back!

The complete list of ferry routes and stop locations can be seen at

Sacred Lands Preservation is a really cool park to explore it is nestled on the shore of Boca Ceiga Bay, is a place to remember the past, the past of our state, and of its native people. Sacred Lands is dedicated to preservation, because its mission is to keep Florida’s history alive for future generations. Located on the remains of the ancient Tocabaga Indian village, tours are offered every Sunday at 4pm. Explore the lives of the Tocabaga people and information about Florida’s native flora and fauna. And visit the Greenhouse Museum where you’ll see artifacts such as pottery, shell tools and native jewelry.

You can catch the ferry to many local restaurants, city centers, shopping areas, local beaches, and much more! It’s a great way to see the area and get to where you’re going without worrying about beach traffic or parking. To see all the special stops and the things to do at each stop visit this page on our new Tampa Bay Ferry and taxi website:

As a reminder, parking is free at our Madeira Beach Marina and Jungle Prada stops. We look forward to seeing you! To see the schedule, map, and the stops with addresses check out this info on our website:

Keep in mind that the ferry does allow alcohol, pets, and anything you need for the beach so pack a cooler and come catch a cruise.

Did you know that Tampa Bay Ferry and Taxi offers a private taxi service, if you’re having a dinner party and want our boat to come pick you and your guests off to take you to your favorite waterfront bar or restaurant simply contact us and we can set you up this private taxi service!

Don’t drink and drive, drink and let us take you on the boat! The water taxi by Hubbard’s Marina is the coolest way to get home after some time at the beach bars.

Captain Jack’s Dolphin Corner

The bird nesting island in Boca Ceiga bay is coming alive with hatchlings and roosting seabirds. It is a great time to join us for a dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour at Hubbard’s Marina to share this special sights and sounds with family and friends.

Our local seabirds are not only roosting and nesting on dog leg key, our local hatchery, they are also dawning their mating plumage which makes them very colorful and robust. For example, the Roseate spoonbills are getting easier and easier to spot with their pinkish feathery appearance.

The Dolphins have been super easy to spot in large numbers lately around Boca Ceiga bay and the entrance to Tampa Bay. They are playful and ready to hunt the large schools of mullet. As the water warms during the spring they will only become more and more playful and easy to spot.

The local bald eagle that seems to be roosting atop a cell tower along the route of the dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour boat here inside Johns pass is getting fat with the many mullet we have spotted him swooping up along the back bay waters.

Want to learn more about dolphins this winter? Check out the new great Johns Pass dolphin facts series on our Hubbard’s Marina YouTube channel to check out to see them all watch our dolphin playlist here:

Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina

Ready to join us for the March 3rd-5th News channel 8 outdoor expo at the Tampa state fairgrounds? There will be plenty of great seminars, vendors, booths, food, boats and more at the show. We will have our booth set up and will have a seminar at 5:30pm on Friday the 3rd. We hope you all get to join us, for more info on the show check out this link:

Sunday March 5th we also have a 3pm bass pro shops seminar, so you could join us for two seminars in one weekend if you’d like!

We have lots of light 39 hour trips coming up on the 3rd, 7th, 14th and 31st of March at Hubbard’s Marina. These 39 hour fishing adventures offer 20 hours of fishing time, a two day bag limit, and you get to fish 70-100 miles from shore in 120-300 foot of water for monster jacks, red grouper, mangrove snapper, tuna and much much more!

The 12 hour extreme trips right now are limiting out on big jacks and catching monster red grouper and the Wednesday trips are consistently super light! Join us for some ‘reel’ offshore fishing fun at Hubbard’s Marina aboard the New and one of a kind Flying HUB 2.

Well were already hearing rumors that Amberjack may be a short season this year, it could be as short as 4-5 months for 2017! If this is true jacks could close April or May, so if you want to go catch some jacks let’s get you offshore on a 39,44 hour 12 hour extreme here asap since jacks opened January first and we may not have very long to continue keeping them before NOAA’s National Marine fisheries gulf council decides to close them early. Remember, we don’t get much advanced notice of this so stay tuned to our email newsletters and social media for more updates.

To book trips on our site, check out this link:

Want to stay up to date with the latest catches, reports and more from Hubbard’s Marina? Follow the new live video segments that Hubbard’s Marina is posting daily to Facebook! Also, more Instagram photos and videos are popping up too! Plus, were on the FishBrain app now too and they were nice enough to add Hubbard’s Marina as a fishing location so now on your future trips you can upload your catch to our location. If you have questions or want more info about all this message Dylan Hubbard on the Hubbard’s Marina Facebook page or shoot him an email:

Regular’s club

We would love to have some of you all join us for the March 3rd-5th outdoor expo at the fairgrounds. We will need help manning the booth and talking to our fishing friends more about what we have to offer at Hubbard’s Marina. If you want to come join us at the booth let Dylan know via email we will have a cooler with drinks and be talking fishing all weekend.

If you have not renewed yet for 2017, please do so before booking your 2017 trips and you definitely want to get it done before January first. If you do not, we will be changing you to the FREE Johns Pass club which does not give you benefits you’re used to. Once in this club, you can always upgrade again to a paid club but if you book using your number while it’s a FREE Johns Pass membership you will not have your discount tied properly to your trips so get renewed before you book!

Captains Mark and Dylan Hubbard

Vice president and Regular’s club manager Hubbard’s Marina
(727)393-1947 ext 306

Join the Great American Clean Up

Pinellas County, in partnership with Keep Pinellas Beautiful, is asking for volunteers to help clean up two waterways, the Cross Bayou Canal and Joe’s Creek, on Saturday, March 25, from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Volunteers will collect and bag trash from mangrove shorelines.

Volunteers will be either land-based or can participate on the water from a canoe or kayak. Volunteers can bring their own watercraft, or borrow a canoe (provided on a first-come, first-served basis).

The meeting point for the cleanup is the Pinellas County property at the intersection of 70th Avenue North and 78th Street North near the Wagon Wheel Flea Market on Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park.

Check-in for volunteers begins at 8 a.m., with trash collection taking place from 8:30 to 11 a.m.  After the trash is collected, volunteers can enjoy lunch, provided by event partner American Waterworks Association – Florida Section, and enter to win giveaways. Registration is required.

Participants should wear comfortable clothing, closed-toe shoes, work gloves, a hat, sunscreen and bring a chair or towel to sit on during lunch. Trash grabbers, bags, gloves and drinking water will be provided. A water truck will also be on hand for cleaning off watercraft after coming back to shore. Participants working from watercraft will be required to wear life jackets; those borrowing watercraft will be provided life jackets.

Register online at by Wednesday, March 21.

Tampa Bay Watch 2017 Summer Camps

Tampa Bay Watch announced their 2017 Summer Camp Dates on Friday, February 2017.  Online registration for Tampa Bay Watch members begins on March 6 and the public can begin to register on March 13.
Click here to visit the TBW summer camp webpage with more information and pricing.
PLEASE NOTE: Tampa Bay Watch Summer Camps fill up quickly. Sign up early to secure a spot for your kids.
For more information contact Katie Mastenbrook at(727)867-8166 x246.

Pitch in for Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup!

Saturday, March 18 from 9am – noon

Tampa Bay Watch, in partnership with Keep Pinellas Beautiful, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful & Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department, is recruiting volunteers to participate in the Great American Cleanup on Saturday, March 18 from 9am-noon. This event is family-friendly and open to all ages. The majority of the volunteers are needed on land, but you are welcome to bring a canoe or kayak.

Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program taking place annually from March 1 through May 31, involving an estimated 2.8 million volunteers across the country. Tampa Bay Watch sees the cleanup as an important way to help clean up human-generated trash in the park as well as marine debris that floats onto the shorelines from Tampa Bay and Gulf of Mexico. 

Click on a site below to register today! 

Sunshine Skyway Fishing Piers, Fort De Soto Park, Tampa Bay Watch, Weedon Island Preserve, Coffee Pot Bayou in St. Pete for kayakers only, Palonis Park in Tampa, & Coquina Bayside in Manatee County

We also need one small support boat, like a skiff, to aid kayakers at the Coffee Pot site. Click here to email Rachel if you can volunteer your boat.

Cover Story: For the LOVE of Tampa Bay

In April 2010 the Gulf of Mexico experienced what is now considered to be the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, causing extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats, fishing and tourism industries.

Rudy Consoni, President of Resort Realty/ Resort Rentals has been operating a real estate company specializing in managing vacation properties and renting to visitors from all over the world for 20 years. While some in his industry have had complaints from clients and customers, his company has maintained an A+ rating with the better business bureau. He knows the BP oil spill and the media frenzy that went on for weeks affected his business to some extent, but it bounced back and the tourism business has been great since.

Rudy said his company filed a ‘BP claim’ in 2012 and received a settlement in October 2016. Rudy says “their award was generous, and we are determined to give it back to Mother Nature and to help restore our beautiful environment. We have been corporate members of Tampa Bay Watch for a number of years and have seen the wonderful way they operate.”

Resort Realty/Resort Rentals generously donated $25,000 from their BP settlement and has also committed to donate $10 from every booking that they make over the next year to reach a total donation goal of $50,000 in 2017.  “We’ve already reached $35,000 Rudy says proudly.”

Of the 6,521 Pinellas County claims currently filed with the BP Deep water Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Program (CSSP), 760 have been paid to date for a total of $83,000,000, with an average claim value of $109,000. “Tampa Bay Watch is extremely grateful to receive this generous support from Resort Realty / Resort Rentals,” says Peter Clark, Tampa Bay Watch President,  “These funds will significantly contribute to our ability to restore and protect our Bay waters.”  Of all the places we could donate, why did we choose Tampa Bay Watch?,” Rudy asks.

Tampa Bay Watch is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) stewardship program dedicated exclusively to the charitable and scientific purpose of protecting and restoring the marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary encompassing over 400 square miles of open water and 2,300 square miles of highly- developed watershed. Tampa Bay Watch involves more than 10,000 youth and adult volunteers each year in hands-on habitat restoration projects. For more information, visit, or call 727-867-8166.

“Our tourism industry is based on visitors coming here to enjoy the beaches, the weather, fishing, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking and windsurfing” says Rudy. “The quality of the water is a huge part of that. Tampa Bay Watch has been a growing presence here for decades now. Engaging families as volunteers and contributors, they have been planting seagrasses and building oyster beds. They have also been educating school children and visitors through partners like the TradeWinds Resort. They actively monitor the health of Tampa Bay counting scallops, rounding up tarpon, they take part in our communities’ activities and address our water-related challenges. Water is the gold of the future. What could be more important.”

Rudy hopes his donation will set an example for other business people who will be receiving BP settlement checks in coming months. “Assuming all 6,521 claims are paid, Pinellas businesses will receive $711,000,000 over the next two years. Tampa Bay Watch has done so much with so little for so long, imagine what they could accomplish if they had even a tithing of what Pinellas companies receive from BP in the coming couple of years.”

Tampa Bay Watch is proud of its diverse Board of Directors:

  • Kevin Kelso, the Vice President/Regional Manager – Portfolio Management of Hancock Bank as Chairman,
  • Doug Sokolowski, a member of Great Bay Distributors ownership as Vice-Chairman,
  • Mary Ann Renfrow, an owner of the Alden Suites Resort as Treasurer and
  • Mark Chmielewski, Managing Director of United Capital of Tampa Bay as Secretary.

“I am very proud and excited about our new board officers. They are a professional and diverse group of individuals that contribute personally and professionally to support the many existing and new programs,” states Peter Clark, President of Tampa Bay Watch.

“Just think how much bay restoration we could achieve if 10% of the $83,000,000 that has already been received in BP settlements was donated to Tampa Bay Watch”.  “As you may know a clean bay contributes approximately $22 billion to the region’s economy”, said Jamie Serino, Tampa Bay Watch Director of Development.

You can get involved with Tampa Bay Watch too!

Volunteer to help with Native Plantings in Safety Harbor on Sat. Feb 25th from 9 – noon. In partnership with the City of Safety Harbor and Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Tampa Bay Watch is recruiting 150 volunteers for a native planting in Safety Harbor on the morning of Saturday, February 25 from 9am-noon. The address of the meeting location is 110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor, FL 34695.

This project is family-friendly and open to all ages. Tampa Bay Watch in partnership with the City of Safety Harbor and Tampa Bay Estuary Program is recruiting 150 volunteers for a native planting in Safety Harbor on the morning of Saturday, February 25 from 9am – noon. The address of the meeting location is 110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor, FL 34695. This project is family-friendly and open to all ages. 

You can also attend the Bay Life Art Exhibit: Feb. 25, 10 am – 2pm Meet Wildlife Artists at the 4th Annual Event The collaborative art exhibit and sale at the Tampa Bay Watch Marine and Education Center is free.  Meet the artists and enjoy a live informational pastel demonstration by one of the Bay Life artists plus kids’ activities. There’s a benefit cocktail reception Feb. 24 5-9 pm; Contact Tampa Baywatch by February 17 to RSVP.(727) 867-8166 x 231 or

For More info call:
Peter Clark, President,
Rachel Arndt, Communications Manager
Jamie Serino, Director of Development
Tampa Bay Watch, 3000 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL 33715
(727) 867-8166 x 233 Fax: (727) 867-8188

Rudy Consoni, President
Resort Realty Vacation Rentals (727) 363-3336
8010 Blind Pass Rd., St Pete Beach, FL 33706-1625

Story by Peter Roos
Photos courtesy of Tampa Bay Watch

Volunteer with Tampa Bay Watch in February and March

Native Planting at Fantasy Island

Tampa Bay Watch is recruiting volunteers to plant six different native species along the shoreline of Fantasy Island to complement the installed oyster domes and shell bar on March 2 & 3 from 9am – noon. This comprehensive ecosystem restoration plan will slow erosion and provide invaluable habitat and food source for wildlife. The minimum age to participate is 13 years old. 

The meeting location is Williams Park Boat Ramp, 8749 U.S. 41, Riverview, FL 33578. The boat ramp is on the west side of US 41 (Tamiami Trail) where US 41 and the north side of the Alafia River intersect. 

Click on date to register to volunteer: Thursday, March 2Friday, March 3

Help Install an Oyster Shell Bar

Tampa Bay Watch is recruiting volunteers to install an oyster shell bar on the shoreline of 2D Island on February 23-24, March 10-11 and March 9 at Fantasy Island from 9am – noon on each day. 

The project involves shoveling fossilized shell into mesh bags, transporting the bags via boat and placing oyster shell bags on the shoreline to create a series of oyster bars. It is pretty physical labor with oyster shell bags weighing around 30 pounds each, therefore the miminum age to participate is 15 years old. The meeting location is Williams Park Boat Ramp, 8749 U.S. 41, Riverview, FL 33578. The boat ramp is on the west side of US 41 (Tamiami Trail) where US 41 and the north side of the Alafia River intersect. 

Click on date to register for this project: Thursday, February 23, Friday, February 24 is already full, Thursday, March 9, Friday, March 10 & Saturday, March 11

Build Oyster Domes

Tampa Bay Watch is recruiting 10-20 hard-working volunteers to help build oyster domes at our Marine Center, 3000 Pinellas Bayway South in Tierra Verde. The project takes place on specified weekday mornings from 9 am until noon. The minimum age to participate in this project is 16 years old. The project involves pouring marine-friendly concrete into fiberglass molds to create oyster domes and taking apart the molds that were previously poured.

Oysters need to attach to a hard structure to grow into adults and the rough texture of the domes makes it easier for oysters to grow. Oyster communities help stabilize shorelines, provide hard bottom habitats for fish and wildlife resources and promote water quality improvements in the Tampa Bay ecosystem. Learn more about the oyster dome program here.

Click one of the dates below to register: February 8February 10February 15, & February 27.

Treasure Island Beach Sign Design Contest

Ahoy artists. The City of Treasure Island is hosting a design competition to create beach signs. The contest is open to everyone ages 10 and older. Help keep beaches healthy and looking good by designing a sign to help promote litter prevention. Finalists will be selected in five categories and have their art featured on one of the City’s new beach information signs.

 Best Overall
 Best Anti-Litter Message
 Best Original
 Best of ages 10 to 14 years old (at the time of submittal)
 Best of ages 15 to 18 year old (at the time of submittal)

Submission Guidelines: Clip and fill out the entry form next to this article. Each entry must be accompanied by a separate entry form.

 The entries must be on a single sheet of 8.5” x 11” paper, landscape.
 Use white, non-glossy paper; do not laminate.
 Any art medium may be used (e.g., colored pencils, crayons, paint); however, computer graphics will not be accepted. Artwork must be hand-drawn.
 Artwork must be flat (e.g., no glued pieces or glitter) and able to be scanned.
 Avoid using brand names in the artwork.
 A description of no more than 75 words must accompany the artwork (space provided on the entry form). Label each entry on the back in pencil (marker bleeds through the artwork)

Artwork should be mailed or delivered to no later than 4 pm March 31. Beach Sign Art Contest, City of Treasure Island – City Hall 120 108th Avenue Treasure Island, FL 33706.