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pelican sitting by the bay
The Health of the Tampa Bay Estuary

An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water formed where freshwater from rivers and streams flows into the ocean, mixing with the salty sea water. Estuaries and the lands surrounding them are places of transition from land to sea, and from fresh to salt water. Although influenced by the tides, estuaries are protected from the full force of ocean waves, winds, and storms by the reefs, barrier islands, sandbars and other structures that define an estuary's seaward boundary.

Tampa Bay is Florida's largest open-water estuary and it supports one of the world's most productive natural eco-systems. But by the late 1970's, the once pristine bay was dangerously polluted. The combined efforts of marine scientists, environmentalists and government officials brought the bay back to a healthier state but much work remains to be done.

Florida Matters host Carson Cooper discusses the history of the cleanup effort and the current status of the bay with our guests.

Program Schedule

Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7

Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1

Radio Guests

Peter Clark - Executive Director of Tampa Bay Watch
Jan Platt - former Hillsborough County Commissioner
Dick Eckendrod - Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program



Florida Matters

Florida Matters tackles tough issues, highlights little-known stories from our part of the world, and provides a greater perspective of what it means to live in the Sunshine State.

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