Sunday, May 20, 2018
News Roundup

Clean Tampa Bay worth $22 billion to bay area, study says

One in every five jobs in the Tampa Bay watershed depends on keeping the bay itself healthy, according to a new study unveiled Tuesday.

A clean bay also contributes about $22 billion to the bay area's total economic activity over the larger, six-county region, according to the study conducted by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program.

The survey — the first look at the bay's economic impact since 1999 — looked at employment, real estate, food services and lodging in an area that includes all or parts of counties from Hernando to Sarasota. The two agencies also sent a detailed survey to 76 professionals working in industries affiliated with the bay.

The results show "that a healthy economy and a healthy environment are mutually beneficial and not mutually exclusive," estuary program executive director Holly Greening said.

The bay's bounty drew settlers here originally, and the bay still attracts people buying real estate or pursuing boating or other water-related activities here, the study notes.

Homes directly on the bay generate about four times the property tax revenue of those not on the waterfront, the study found. Even homes within a quarter-mile of the bay produce double the tax revenues of those farther away.

Other findings are less obvious. For instance, the growth of underwater sea grasses, as well as shoreline marshes and mangroves, means about $24 million less money spent every year on wastewater treatment plants to reduce nutrient pollution.

Since 1974, the estuary program's scientists have checked the quality in the four sections of the bay — Old Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Bay, Middle Tampa Bay and Lower Tampa Bay — to see if the water is clean enough to promote natural recovery of sea grass.

Sea grasses are crucial to the health of the bay, but decades ago, they declined sharply to 22,000 acres by 1982.

By 2011, though, strenuous local government efforts to clean up pollution flowing into the bay had encouraged the spread of sea grass until it covered nearly 33,000 acres of the bay, leading to a rebound of fish population.

According to Greening, the water quality of the bay is now as good as it was in the 1950s.

Craig Pittman can be reached at [email protected] or follow him @craigtimes.

Comments
For Bolts radio duo, being fans at heart is key to their success

For Bolts radio duo, being fans at heart is key to their success

As the last tension-filled seconds of a tight playoff game wind down, high above the Amalie Arena ice, the play-by-play man becomes increasingly animated.Dave Mishkin, eyes bulging, face purple, jumps from his seat, holding the headset with his left ...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Unveiling for

Unveiling for "Fortune Taylor Bridge" marker rained out, but celebration continues indoors

TAMPA — There’s a saying that everyone dies twice, Tampa City council member Guido Maniscalco said Sunday. Once, when they take their last breath. And again, the last time someone mentions their name.So in this case, he said, the name "Fortune Taylor...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years at USF, Willie Taggart was used to the reception he'd get as a head football coach in the Tampa Bay area.But coming back as the new coach at Florida State, Taggart said, was different."Pretty cool," Taggart sai...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Lightning-Capitals: In playoffs, Lightning and its town become one

Lightning-Capitals: In playoffs, Lightning and its town become one

TAMPA — The Lightning is a win away from a trip to the Stanley Cup final. Its Game 5 win Saturday, to take a 3-2 lead over the Washington Capitals, was another chapter of a story being written on the fly."Think about Game 1 in New Jersey,"...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

TAMPA – Capitals G Braden Holtby basically summed up playoff life for the Capitals after Saturday's Game 5 loss in the Eastern Conference final when he said the team never makes it easy for itself."No, we don't," coach Barry Trotz agreed Sunday...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Capitals: Lightning keeps Alex Ovechkin under control

Lightning-Capitals: Lightning keeps Alex Ovechkin under control

TAMPA — Alex Ovechkin headed toward the Capitals' locker room two hours before the start of Saturday's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final with the swagger of an elite athlete that suggested he was about take over a game and make life misera...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Updated: 2 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

UPDATE, 2:27: If the Rays win today, it would be their first four-game sweep since Sept. 20-23, 2013, vs. Baltimore and first on the road since Aug. 16-19 here at Anaheim. … It also would be the first time they swept back to back series on the ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

SANTA FE, Texas — A 17-year-old student looking forward to celebrating his family's new swimming pool and a substitute teacher whose home frequently hosted family gatherings were among the 10 people killed in a mass shooting at a Texas high sch...
Updated: 8 hours ago