Tampa Bay Water Awards 2022 Source Water Protection Mini-grants

Earth holds a finite amount of water so it’s important that we all do our part to use water wisely and protect water sources from contamination. Each year since 2008 Tampa Bay Water has awarded grants to local organizations that share our goals of helping educate the public on our drinking water sources and engage the community on water quality, conservation and source water protection.

Tampa Bay Water’s Source Water Protection Mini-grant Program is available to non-profit groups, schools or teachers, and community groups. Grants range from $2,000 to $10,000, for projects relating to protecting regional drinking water supplies.

For 2022, Tampa Bay Water will distribute $30,100 in grants among:

Tampa Bay Reforestation and Environmental Effort (TREE)

($2,000) for the Hillsborough Community College (HCC) Plant City Campus Wetland and Stormwater Enhancement Program. The grant will fund the removal of invasive plants and installation of wetland plants to improve the water quality of the Park Road Outfall, a contributor to the East Canal, Hillsborough River and Tampa Bay watershed. Grant funding will go toward the installation of a series of interpretive signs in the newly remediated site to create a living classroom college, high school and middle school students in greater Plant City can use.

Coffee Pot Bayou Watershed Alliance

($3,500) for the Ramon Creek Invasive Plant Removal and Restoration program. Ramon Creek in Pinellas County accommodates stormwater runoff from surrounding neighborhoods and upstream communities. Invasive vegetation is compromising the health of this ecosystem and water quality, and grant funding will go toward hosting quarterly volunteer cleanups and invasive plant removals.

Ecosphere Restoration Institute

($7,200) for the Purity Spring Restoration and Living Shoreline project. The project will enhance habitat values of the spring run to the Hillsborough River, which currently has no native wetland vegetation and an eroded shoreline at the confluence of the river. Grant funding will be used to enlarge the spring pool, add submerged aquatic grasses and plant emergent wetland grass along the water’s edge. The eroded riverbank will be replaced with a living shoreline to stabilize the riverbank and reduce sedimentation. Neighborhood community groups and residents will install the plants, and the City of Tampa has committed to maintaining the site once it is restored.

The Florida Aquarium

($7,400) for the From Drops to Drink: Protecting Tampa Bay’s Drinking Water workshops. The Florida Aquarium will use grant funding to provide workshops to inform educators about various sources for our drinking water supply in the Tampa Bay area and the importance of protecting our watersheds. The project’s main goal is to provide outreach to the broader Tampa Bay community through educators and their students: approximately 40 teachers and 800 students annually.

Keep Pasco Beautiful

($10,000) for the Fertilizer Education and Outreach Program in Pasco County. When it rains, excess nitrogen and phosphorus found in fertilizers ends up in our stormwater systems and water bodies. Grant funding will be used to promote awareness about the importance of the proper use of fertilizers to minimize damage to the environment. The program will provide internship opportunities to students from the University of South Florida, and information will be incorporated into existing programming and cleanups.