Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay needs help
Piney Point wastewater releases to Tampa Bay slow substantially, state says | April 8
Tampa Bay Watch is greatly concerned for the safety of our residents in Manatee and Hillsborough counties and the health of Tampa Bay as a result of the industrial water discharge from the Piney Point facility. The “plume” of discharged water, containing nitrogen, phosphorous and ammonia, will eventually move to the open waters of Tampa Bay and create harmful algae blooms. If a catastrophic release of stack water occurs, the contaminants will flow into eastern Bishop Harbor, part of the Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve, resulting in significant environmental damage to the shallow seagrass beds, oyster bars and mangroves forests.
Many of Tampa Bay Watch’s ongoing bay restoration projects are located immediately adjacent to Piney Point in both Terra Ceia and the Cockroach Bay aquatic preserves. We are working with our governmental and nonprofit partners to monitor conditions and impacts to these projects and to the health of Tampa Bay. For up-to-date information, visit FDEP Protecting Florida Together at protectingfloridatogether.gov/PineyPointUpdate.
Tampa Bay Watch urges Gov. Ron DeSantis, members of the state Legislature and our congressional delegation to address the longterm environmental implications of older processing facilities on the shores of Tampa Bay and throughout the state. Improvements to the Tampa Bay estuary for the benefit of marine life, residents and our economy made over the past three decades must not be lost.
Peter A. Clark, president and founder, Tampa Bay Watch