This project will restore natural coastal habitats and treat stormwater runoff to increase wildlife and improve the water quality of Clam Bayou.
Clam Bayou is a 170-acre estuary in Pinellas County. It is surrounded by the cities of Gulfport to the west, St. Petersburg to the north and east, and Boca Ciega Bay to the south. Approximately 127 acres of Clam Bayou are publicly owned.
Until the 1920s, Clam Bayou was relatively unaltered by human activities. Since then, urban development around the bayou has drastically altered the natural habitats and the hydrology of the system.
In addition, urban areas around the bayou were developed prior to stormwater regulations. This has increased the amount of trash, sediments and pollutants entering the estuary. Lastly, cleared and/or filled shorelines and uplands have become dominated by nonnative plant species, such as Brazilian pepper, Australian pine trees and guinea grass, further reducing the values of the habitats.
This project will restore Clam Bayou’s ecosystems and treat stormwater runoff among seven sites and 44 acres. The ecosystem restoration portion of the project will restore 24 acres of various estuarine and coastal habitats for Clam Bayou.
The stormwater treatment components involve 20 acres of ponds designed to improve water quality of runoff from a 2,600-acre watershed, which flows from Clam Bayou into Boca Ciega Bay and ultimately Tampa Bay. The ponds will filter the pollutants and improve water quality before it reaches Clam Bayou.
View more information about the seven project sites.
Following construction of the seven project areas, the District plans to remove a limited area of sediments to promote tidal flushing in the system. View map of proposed sediment removal.
The Clam Bayou project partners include the City of St. Petersburg, City of Gulfport, Tampa Bay Estuary Program and Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The project is funded by the Florida Surface Water Improvement and Management Program, Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, and United States Environmental Protection Agency Section 319h of the Clean Water Act Grant.
Construction for the stormwater treatment and ecosystem restoration began in April 2010. Six of the seven project areas will be complete in July 2011. The seventh project area, Central Pond, is expected to be complete in fall 2011. Limited sediment removal should begin after the Central Pond is completed.