The project will restore and enhance nearly 170 acres of coastal uplands on District lands adjacent to Tampa Bay.
The Terra Ceia Huber and Frog Creek Upland Restoration project is a District Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Initiative to restore and enhance coastal uplands on District lands adjacent to Tampa Bay. The Huber tract, comprised of two parcels bisected by the southern I-275 approach to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, is approximately 100 acres. The Terra Ceia Frog Creek parcel is located at the corner of US 41 and 85th Street E and known as the Terra Ceia Preserve – Frog Creek Recreation Area. This parcel is approximately 119.5 acres and includes a 100-acre borrow pit (see map).
Historically, the Huber tract was cleared and used for agricultural and nursery purposes. Once these land uses ended, the cleared areas were overgrown by dense stands of nonnative plants, including Brazilian pepper, lead tree and other nuisance plants not native to the area. In the past, the Frog Creek parcel was also used for agricultural purposes and later for borrow pits to construct portions of I-275. The upland areas of Frog Creek include some healthy areas as well as areas that have been overtaken by nonnative plants.
This project will restore and enhance the habitats on the Huber and Frog Creek parcels in a phased approach. First, using heavy equipment and herbicides, non-native plants will be removed from upland areas. In areas inaccessible to heavy machinery or areas with mostly healthy native plants, nonnative plants will be treated with herbicide. Upon completing removal of nonnative vegetation, the upland areas will be replanted with native trees and shrubs.
Four small areas on the Huber tract will be excavated to create and enhance saltwater wetlands. During this phase of the project, heavy equipment and dump trucks will be used to remove soil from the wetland creation area. The soil will be hauled to Terra Ceia Preserve – Frog Creek Recreation Area to be used for a future freshwater wetland creation project. Ultimately, approximately 28 acres will be restored and/or enhanced at Frog Creek and 140 acres on the Huber tract.
Non-native plant removal on the Huber and Frog Creek parcels was completed in 2019. Replanting of the uplands was completed in fall 2019 and the sites are undergoing ongoing maintenance.
The contractor is working throughout the project Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. During the project, access to the District’s Frog Creek Recreation Area may be closed for public safety. Any closings will be communicated on the property’s webpage. Please contact the project manager with any questions or additional information.