Justice Elected Chair of Tampa Bay Estuary Program
The goal of the TBEP is to restore and protect Tampa Bay.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice was unanimously elected chair of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program at a meeting Friday (Feb. 17).
“I am honored to serve as the chair of this board. We have great members who are committed to continuing the improvements made in the quality of Tampa Bay,” Justice said.
The mission of the TBEP is to build partnerships to restore and protect Tampa Bay through implementation of a scientifically sound, community-based management plan.
The TBEP was created by Congress in 1991 as a partnership of Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties; the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater; the Southwest Florida Water Management District; the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pasco County became a member this past year.
In 1998, these and six other partners signed a formal interlocal agreement, and ancillary agreements, pledging to achieve the goals of the newly completed Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) for Tampa Bay, called Charting The Course. The plan culminated nearly six years of scientific research into the Bay’s most pressing problems, and reflected broad-based input from citizens, groups and communities with a common interest in a healthy bay as the cornerstone of a prosperous economy.
The TBEP set a goal of a return of at least 38,000 acres of seagrass in the bay. Strategies agreed to by the partner governments led to the current level of more than 41,000 acres. This is the highest level of seagrass since 1950.
For information about the TBEP, go to tbep.org.
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