Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shell of an effort: Volunteers help Tampa Bay Watch revitalize Weedon Island shore

ST. PETERSBURG — Some folks head for the water on the weekend. Others work out. Last weekend one group of people did both at once, all while helping the environment.

To create sustainable habitats for sea life and protect the shorelines, new oyster shell reefs were created along Weedon Island Preserve by Tampa Bay Watch, in partnership with Restore America's Estuaries, NOAA's Restoration Center and the Pinellas County Department of Environmental Management.

About 40 volunteers filled mesh bags with oyster shells and placed them around the shoreline of Weedon Island. Oyster shells enhance the habitat and reduce erosion, according to Serra Herndon, restoration director of Tampa Bay Watch.

The bags weigh 30 to 35 pounds.

"It's a good workout for a good cause," said Tampa Bay Watch's communications coordinator, Rachel Arndt.

"I'm always amazed by the people willing to come out to do the heavy lifting and sweat," Herndon said.

About 15 tons of fossilized shells were brought in.

Gerry and Betsy Stupiansky, a married couple who are retired teachers, gave a helping hand.

"They place bags about 2 feet high and 4 feet deep," Betsy said. "It's right along the shore."

This is the second time the Stupianskys have helped to create oyster shell reef habitats.

"This is for the environment and saving the shoreline," Gerry said. "It's a great thing to be a part of."

The shells encourage new oysters to grow and provide a food source for sea life, and they help to stabilize the shoreline and filter the water.

"When I moved to Tampa Bay in 1987, the bay was brown," said Jim Igler, who is affiliated with Tampa Bay Watch. Igler has focused on the water quality and estuaries and says projects like these have really made a difference.

"Clearwater is called Clearwater for a reason," Igler said. "Now when I cross the Skyway bridge and other bridges in Tampa Bay and look at the water, the water is blue again."

Shell of an effort: Volunteers help Tampa Bay Watch revitalize Weedon Island shore 04/12/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. First WannaCry, now cyberattack Petya spreads from Russia to Britain


    Computer systems from Russia to Britain were victims of an international cyberattack Tuesday in a hack that bore similarities to a recent one that crippled tens of thousands of machines worldwide.

    A computer screen cyberattack warning notice reportedly holding computer files to ransom, as part of a massive international cyberattack, at an office in Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday.  A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software appears to be causing mass disruption across Europe.
[Oleg Reshetnyak via AP]
  2. Pinellas sheriff's corporal had racist, sexist, pornographic content on his cell phone

    Public Safety

    LARGO — A Pinellas County sheriff's corporal resigned recently after an investigation into an alleged extramarital affair revealed a trove of racist, sexist and pornographic images on his personal cell phone.

    Shawn Pappas, 46, resigned as a training division corporal from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office after an investigation revealed a trove of offensive images and videos on his phone. This photo was taken as a screenshot from one of the videos released by the Sheriff's Office that Pappas filmed while on duty. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine reflects on the news from the Congressional Budget Office analysis that could imperil GOP leaders' hopes of pushing their health care the plan through the chamber this week, Tuesday, on Capitol Hill in Washington. [AP photo]
  4. Review: Dan Auerbach, Benjamin Booker plumb the past for inspiration on new albums

    Music & Concerts

    It didn't take Benjamin Booker long to get lumped in with the greats. The Tampa-raised singer-songwriter's 2014 self-titled blues-punk debut brought widespread acclaim, not to mention an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, a tour with Jack White and sessions with Mavis Staples.

    The cover of Benjamin Booker's new album "Witness." Credit: ATO Records
  5. Fourth of July in Tampa Bay: parades, hot dog parties, concerts and more things to do


    Looking for things to do on the Fourth of July in Tampa Bay? There is no shortage of patriotic events, from the Hot Dog Party concerts and eating contest in Tampa, to the parades in Land O' Lakes and Safety Harbor, to the swinging dance party at St. Petersburg's Museum of Fine arts, there's an abundance of things to do …

    The annual Independence Day parade in Brandon kicks off at 10 a.m. on July 4 at 101 E Lumsden Road. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times (2015)]