Results and Accomplishments
The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council established the Agency on Bay Management (ABM) in 1985 as the primary organization committed to managing the Tampa Bay estuary. It provides a broad based forum for discussing the myriad issues involving the estuary and advocates for Bay restoration. Sound science and economics meet in consensus-based recommendations that are dramatically improving habitat and water quality while supporting a thriving economy. The ABM achievements include:
- Established the Piney Point Task Force to help the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) manage an abandoned phosphogypsum operation that was contributing nutrient-laden acidic process water.
- Conceived the highly successful statewide Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) program, completing 59 habitat restoration and stormwater quality projects that restored 1,600 acres of coastal habitat and signiﬁcantly improved the Bay’s seagrass habitat and water quality.
- Formed the Manatee Protection Strategies Task Force, generating management recommendations that were later incorporated into boating regulations and voluntary protection measures.
- Organized and produced the 1991 Proceedings of the Bay Area Scientiﬁc Information Symposium (BASIS 2), using information collected about the Tampa Bay Watershed, and put together the 1996 BASIS 3 proceedings, discussing research to protect, restore, and manage the bay’s estuary.
- Produced the annual State of Tampa Bay report for the public for 16 years, recently replaced by Bay Soundings, an independent quarterly publication dedicated to reporting the challenges, programs, and successes in the Tampa Bay estuary and its watershed