Contact: Don Roberts
Tampa Bay Watch, in partnership with the Florida Aquarium and CCA Florida, will be moving forward with a shoreline stabilization project that will allow the creation of new oyster dome and oyster bar habitat along the southern shoreline of Fantasy Island. The oyster dome field and oyster shell bar have been designed to help stabilize approximately 700’ of severely eroding shoreline, provide hard bottom habitats for fish and wildlife resources and promote water quality improvements in the Tampa Bay ecosystem. CCA Florida received a generous matching challenge grant award from the Duckwall Foundation for $25,000. On April 11, 2016 Tampa Bay Watch received $75,000 from CCA Florida, the Building Conservation Trust, and the Duckwall Foundation to sponsor the construction and community involvement of the Fantasy Island Project.
This project involves the placement of 1,080 oyster domes and approximately 41.5 tons of fossilized shell along the southern shoreline of the island. Placed Lo-Pro Reef Ball™ units will provide wave attenuation to assist with erosion control and to provide habitat for marine life. These reef balls are well suited for the establishment of oysters that are common along the Fantasy Island shoreline and throughout Tampa Bay. Placing the Lo-Pro’s in approximately two feet of water will allow the units to be mostly exposed during low tide and totally submerged at high tide; conditions which are optimum for oysters in Tampa Bay. Reef ball units will create habitat by encouraging oysters and other filter feeders to attach. The oyster dome placement will occur after the oyster shell bar has been built so as to minimize and safety issues and disturbance to the habitat. The project is scheduled for deployment in the fall 2016.