Posted by CCA Florida
Published: 23 January 2016
Last Updated: 28 February 2016
CCA Florida, Duckwall Foundation and Building Conservation Trust join effort to enhance habitat around Fantasy Island
Coastal Conservation Association Florida recently announced a $25,000 contribution towards helping enhance fisheries habitat around Fantasy Island in Tampa Bay. CCA Florida led the charge after the organization received a generous $25,000 matching 2 to 1 challenge grant award from the Frank E. Duckwall Foundation for the Fantasy Island project. In order to receive the Duckwall Foundation grant award, CCA Florida was required to raise $50,000 for the matching fund requirement. CCA Florida worked with CCA National’s Building Conservation Trust (BCT) to secure the required additional $25,000. Tampa Bay Watch separately raised $75,000, and now that all permits are in hand, the $150,000 project is ready to proceed.
Slowly being eroded away due to heavy traffic on a nearby ship channel, Fantasy Island in Tampa Bay is about to have its dreams come true. More than 1,000 oyster domes and 40 tons of fossilized oyster shell is on the way to stabilize the southern shoreline of the island and create perfect conditions for a thriving oyster reef that will prevent further erosion, improve water quality in Tampa Bay, and enhance fisheries habitat locally. CCA Florida, The Duckwall Foundation, the Building Conservation Trust and Tampa Bay Watch, in partnership with the Florida Aquarium, have all joined forces on this project, which is scheduled to be launched in spring of 2016. The funding will be used for the construction and placement of the 1,080 oyster domes, which will be placed in about two feet of water, allowing them to be exposed at low tide and totally submerged at high tide. Those conditions are ideal for oyster growth in Tampa Bay and the domes will also serve to buffer the island from waves created from passing boat traffic.
This project is just the latest habitat endeavor undertaken by CCA Florida and further demonstrates the organization’s commitment to putting dollars raised in Florida back into Florida waters via habitat restoration and creation projects. “CCA Florida is proud to be part of another project to enhance habitat and improve water quality in Tampa Bay,” said J.D. Dickenson, CCA Florida Habitat Committee chairman “A lot of thought has been given to this project and the innovative design is in a perfect spot to take advantage of the flow from the Alafia River. By greatly expanding the hard surface area, this effort will result in more oysters, more attractive habitat for fish, and increased opportunity for anglers to enjoy the area.”
Fantasy Island is a spoil island located in Hillsborough Bay near the mouth of the Alafia River that was created in the 1970s as part of the Harbor Deepening Project. In addition to enhancing oyster habitat, the project is expected to stabilize roughly 700 feet of shoreline on the island.