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Published Oct. 9, 2005

It was designed for boaters. But a colorful brochure about to be circulated in the Tampa Bay area is so packed with information that it's expected to be popular among non-boaters, too. "I suggested that they change the name to the Tampa Bay Resource Guide," said Jamie Serino, spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources, one of several agencies involved in developing the brochure. The publication's highlight is a color map that lists environmental resources around the bay to help boaters protect the environment. The foldout map, printed on waterproof material, pinpoints sea grass beds, mangrove communities, salt marshes and aquatic preserves. It also lists artificial reefs and public boat ramps. The other side of the map contains information about native habitats in the Tampa Bay area. Tips are designed to help boaters avoid damage to sensitive natural habitats and to endangered sea creatures such as manatees and sea turtles. The brochure will be available at Pinellas tax collector's offices by July, or by calling the National Estuary Program at 893-2765.