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August, 2018
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The Tampa Bay Estuary Program's Technical Advisory Committee consists of representatives from the scientific and technical staff of local, regional, state and federal agencies with regulatory or management mandates that affect Tampa Bay. Academia, the private and public sectors, and affected user groups interested in furthering and achieving the goals and objectives of the TBEP's Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. TBEP TAC representatives have scientific or technical expertise that assists the TBEP Management Board in the evaluation of complex environmental issues involving Tampa Bay and implementation of the CCMP.

For additional information about this committee, contact Senior Scientist, Ed Sherwood ([email protected]).

Community Advisory Committee members serve as TBEP's ambassadors to the various communities bordering Tampa Bay. Through TBEP's Speaker's Bureau and other forums, they help TBEP educate the public about problems facing the bay, and explain what the TBEP is doing to solve those problems. Community Advisory Committee members also provide advice and recommendations to the elected officials who serve on TBEP's Policy Board. Their input is valued by those elected officials as a reflection of community concerns.

The Tampa Bay Nitrogen Management Consortium (NMC) was formed in 1996, consisting of participants from local governments, agencies, and private industry and businesses. The NMC was formed to develop Action Plans to meet the bay segment “hold-the-line” nitrogen load targets from the 1992-1994 period. Estimates of future loadings to the bay developed by the TBEP in the late 1990s indicated that without appropriate management, future TN loadings would be greater than the “hold-the-line” targets. So, the NMC collectively developed a Consortium Action Plan that included a number of nitrogen load reduction/preclusion projects designed to maintain the TN loadings at or below the target levels. Most recently (TBEP 2009), the Consortium has developed allocations commensurate to the nitrogen loads estimated during the 1992-1994, "hold-the-line" period for all major nitrogen load sources to Tampa Bay.

For additional information about the Consortium, contact Senior Scientist, Ed Sherwood ([email protected]).

A nine-member Policy Board was established through TBEP's 2015 Interlocal Agreement to provide overall direction to the TBEP and make policy decisions on program budgets and expenditures. Serving on the Policy Board are representatives or their alternates appointed by and representing the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Pasco, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The EPA participates on the Policy Board as a non-voting member.

In accordance with the Interlocal Agreement, the Policy Board has primary authority over the administration of the TBEP.

A twenty-member Management Board provides more direct oversight of the Program and makes recommendations to the Policy Board on programmatic priorities and matters of budget and spending. A Technical Advisory Committee of more than 100 members provides input as the scientific voice of the TBEP, and a Community Advisory Committee advises the TBEP staff on its public outreach strategy and specific projects to implement that strategy.

Coordination and quality assurance of the water quality element of the TBEP CCMP is accomplished through the Regional Ambient Monitoring Program (RAMP). The RAMP was initiated by TBEP in 1992, but is now coordinated by the local governments that run the monitoring programs throughout the Tampa Bay watershed and larger southwest Florida region. RAMP participants meet quarterly to collect water samples from a common container. Each program then has its own laboratory run the samples for a core group of parameters (TN, nitrate+nitrite, ammonia, TSS, TP, orthophosphate, color, turbidity, and chlorophyll a), and the RAMP participants compare their individual results. To date, the RAMP participants have worked out differences between laboratories for several critical parameters (e.g., chlorophyll, TN, TP, TSS) and continue to work on others (e.g., color).

For additional information about the SWFL RAMP, contact Matt Jablonski, SWFWMD ([email protected]) or Natasha Dickrell, Pinellas County Environmental Management ([email protected]).

The Southwest Florida Seagrass Working Group is a collection of scientists, resource managers, stakeholders and local officials that are dedicated to the protection and conservation of seagrass resources in Southwest Florida, including the greater Charlotte Harbor estuaries, Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay.  This page link is intended to support the efforts of the Working Group by providing: online access to meeting information and presentations; a forum for technical discussions or pleas for help in the field; and a library of publications important for understanding the ecology of seagrasses and algae in Southwest Florida.

Meeting agendas, presentations, and additional resources related to the SW Florida Seagrass Working Group are available to the public in the article listings. Anyone may view this information, but please register a username on our TBEP Tech website, if you'd like to post a resource to this section.

If you have questions about the Southwest Florida Seagrass Working Group, contact TBEP Ecologist, Dr. Gary Raulerson ([email protected]).

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