The islands provide a protected nesting habitat for rare species including American Oystercatchers and Least Terns to complete their reproductive cycle. Each year, the islands become one of the bay area’s prime nesting sites, hosting thousands of nesting migratory birds. In past years, the nesting population of oystercatchers on the dredge disposal islands was the largest in the state, according to surveys conducted by Audubon and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Oystercatchers remain one of Florida’s rarest species, with less than 225 breeding pairs in Florida.
“Port Tampa Bay is committed to being a leader in environmental and sustainability efforts in our community. The port has a deep commitment to uphold and protect the health and vitality of the waters around Tampa Bay and the native species that thrive there,” explained Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay President and CEO.