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April 17, 2012


The Tampa Port Authority, Hillsborough County and the Southwest Florida Water Management District.


The Cockroach Bay Restoration Project represents one of the largest, most complex coastal ecosystem restorations ever developed for Tampa Bay.

Before the restoration, this area suffered from a number of environmental problems, including habitat degradation, invasive plant infestation and poor water quality. Since the property was purchased by Hillsborough County in 1991, 500 acres of wetlands, uplands and coastal habitats have been restored.

Dedication speakers include U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra L. Murman. After the speeches, rehabilitated coastal birds will be released into the restored ecosystem, and tours of the restoration site will be offered.

When: Friday, April 20, 11 a.m.

Where: Cockroach Bay, 3709 Gulf City Road, Ruskin, FL 33570.

Directions: If traveling south, take exit 240B. If traveling north, take exit 240. Head west on SR 674 toward US 41. Take US 41 south to Cockroach Bay Road. Travel west on Cockroach Bay Road. Turn right onto Gulf City Road.

Instructions: Please wear outdoor-appropriate shoes. The dedication will take place outside.

District Contact: Robyn Felix, media relations manager, (813) 781-9817 (cell).

Cockroach Bay Restoration Project Fact Sheet

Property Information

  • 650-acre property located just outside the Alafia River watershed boundary in southwest Hillsborough County
  • Property purchased by Hillsborough County in 1991

Project Background

  • Environmental problems included habitat degradation, invasive plant infestation and poor water quality
  • 500-acre restoration project
  • More than 20 years of restoration work
  • Completed in 17 different phases
  • A pay-as-you-go project
  • Included three different mitigation projects

Project Details

  • 176 tons of garbage were removed from the site during the course of the project
  • 500,000 cubic yards of recycled dredged material were used to restore the site
  • More than 2,500 volunteers helped plant trees and grasses as part of the restoration
  • Used as an example of a successful ecosystem restoration on a state, national and international level.
  • Groups from China, England, Korea, Morocco, Canada and Japan have toured and studied the project.
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