Bay Friendly Living

Help keep the bay healthy and beautiful.

Practice these bay-friendly living tips to keep our waters clean and healthy. And remember to share your bay-lovin’ bodaciousness with friends and neighbors.

Ten Ways to Save The Bay

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

1. Drink Local

Plastic water bottles takes energy to make, transport, store, and recycle. BYOB with a reusable bottle filled with tap water, or a filtered pitcher.

The average American uses 167 disposable water bottles a year.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

2. Scoop The Poop

Dog poop can add bacteria to the bay, and transmit disease to humans and other dogs. Prevent poo-lution by bagging and tossing dog doo in the trash.

In the Tampa Bay area, an average of 50 tons of dog poop is left on the ground each day.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

3. Skip The Fertilizer In Summer
Heavy rains don’t water fertilizer in, they wash it away. If you have a lawn, fertilize only in spring and fall to prevent runoff that causes ugly algae blooms in our bay.

Use iron instead of fertilizer in summer to keep your grass green without growing faster. Side benefit: Less mowing, more hammock time!

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

4. Reel in our Tarpon Tag

Your purchase of the Tampa Bay Estuary license plate funds community-led bay restoration and education.

The license tag has provided $1.6 million to schools, neighborhoods and community groups for grassroots projects to help the bay 

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

5. Cut the (Nature) Deficit

Kids who spend time outdoors perform better in school and build healthier immune systems.

“We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.” – George Eliot

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

6. Less Lawn, More Fun

Lawns need water, fertilizer and chemicals to look their best. Lose some lawn and gain more time to enjoy the bay.

How to Garden Like A Floridian 

 

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

7. Boat Slow Where Seagrasses Grow

About 70% of the fish we catch for food or fun spend part of their lives in the bay’s seagrass meadows. So do manatees, stingrays, shrimp, scallops and many other animals.

Go slow, or use a push pole or trolling motor in shallow water to protect underwater seagrasses and the manatees that feed on them.

 

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

8. Drive Less and Drive Small

Tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks have a greater impact on the bay’s water quality than power plants. Consolidate your errands, share the ride, and drive smaller, fuel-efficient cars to keep our air and water clean.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program research has shown that mobile sources contribute 4x more Nitrogen Oxide pollution to the watershed than power plants, and twice as much NOx pollution directly to the bay.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

9. Give Poison A Pass

Why dump toxins all over your little piece of paradise? Give bad bugs the boot by hand-plucking or using non-toxic horticultural sprays and soaps.

95% of the world’s insects are either helpful or harmless. Learn to recognize good guys like ladybugs, assassin bugs and, yes, spiders!

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

10. Be A Giver, Not a Taker

Give a little of your time to make the bay better. Volunteer to restore a wetland, root out invasive plants or take part in a coastal cleanup.

Fifty volunteers can plant 5,000 sprigs of marsh grass in two hours.

Sign up here for volunteer opportunities and announcements.