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Tampa Bay Sea Grass Beds Expand
Tampa Bay now supports 40,295 acres of sea grass beds, the largest amount of sea grass measured since the 1950s, a new study by scientists at the Southwest Florida Water Management District has found.

The extent of sea grass beds is a way to measure the water quality in the bay. The more sea grass there is, the cleaner the bay is.
"Sea grass was our canary in the coal mine (and) major losses occurred when Tampa Bay was in distress," said agency scientist Kris Kaufman, who led the study. "Now with sustained good water quality in the bay, sea grasses are flourishing."

This increase in sea grass, announced Wednesday by the agency commonly called Swiftmud, has surpassed the baywide recovery goal of 38,000 acres set 23 years ago by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program when the bay was suffering from serious pollution problems.

In other words, water quality in the bay is now as good as it was in 1950, explained Holly Greening, director of the estuary program.


 
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Scientists Digging Up 'Ghost Ponds' and Bringing Plants Back to Life - Ghost ponds often appear as damp areas of land, marked by poor crop growth or a change in soil color. Restoring some of these buried ponds, and the habitats hidden beneath the soil, could be a valuable way of reversing habitat and biodiversity losses.


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