Despite the recreational and economic value of coastal bays and estuaries, these ecosystems are often among our most 'troubled' natural environments. Urbanization, agriculture, mining, and shipping are just a few activities that can have a profound and lasting impact on the coastal zone. In order to maintain a healthy coastal ecosystem, it is crucial to develop reasonable management practices around expert scientific information. We still have much to learn about the quantity and quality of groundwater being discharged into Tampa Bay, Florida. We also need to improve our knowledge of a wide range of contaminants entering the bay and must be able to determine where they accumulate in seafloor sediments. Such buried contaminants can potentially be harmful to biota if they are released to the water column. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and research partners from the University of South Florida (USF), the University of Florida (UF), and the Florida Marine Research Institute (FMRI) are mapping sources of groundwater, measuring groundwater flow into Tampa Bay, and assessing the impact of contaminants and sediments on bay water quality and ecosystem health.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Gulf of Mexico integrated science - Tampa Bay study, the impact of groundwater and contaminants on Tampa Bay