TAMPA — Restoring a nature trail, monitoring pollution in Tampa Bay and teaching people tips on using lawn fertilizers are some of the ways the Hillsborough Environmental Protection Commission will spend fines collected from polluters.
The environmental commission — county commissioners sitting as a different board — unanimously approved nine grant applications Thursday totaling $396,000. The money is from the so-called pollution recovery fund of fines paid by individuals or entities violating Environmental Protection Commission’s rules.
The commission has allocated more than $8 million since 1987 to restore polluted areas, mitigation and to improve pollution control activities. Maximum grants this year were $50,000.
The year’s grants went to: Tampa Bay Watch, island living shoreline, $49,560; Eckerd College, monitoring microplastic pollution in Tampa Bay, $49,450; Sun City Center Audubon Club, nature trail restoration, $20,000; University of South Florida, screening of multidrug resistant bacteria in wastewater, $50,000; city of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, Ignacio Haya Park living shoreline, $50,000; University of South Florida fecal source detection in water bodies, $50,000; Ecosphere Restoration Institute, MacDill Air Force Base, saltern restoration, $37,000; Ecosphere Restoration Institute, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, living shoreline demonstration, $42,000; and University of Florida /Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Hillsborough County, enhancing Florida Friendly Landscaping practices through fertilizer use and landscaping, $8,600.