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The Water Channel

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Protecting Florida's Groundwater Supply

Florida's aquifer - the source of drinking water and water flowing from its springs - is vulnerable to overuse, pollution and drought. Protecting the aquifer is one of DEP's highest priorities. Learn about efforts in the Tampa Bay region to diversify water resources.

Protecting Florida's Water Supply

Florida-Friendly Interactive Yard

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Learn about Florida-Friendly Landscaping Techniques

Fertilizers and pesticides used on residential and commercial landscapes are harming Florida's waterways. Find out how you can reduce your impact in your front and back yards.

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Tampa Bay Tributaries Watershed

Image of This Basin: Lake Griffin Bass fishing makes a comeback
This Basin: Lake Griffin Bass fishing makes a comeback

The Tampa Bay Tributaries Basin surrounds the east side of Tampa Bay, the largest open-water estuary in the state. At 2,200 square miles, the basin is nearly five times larger than Tampa Bay; it contains 252 waterbodies, including 49 lakes, four springs, and eight estuaries. More than 100 tributaries in the basin flow into Tampa Bay, including four major rivers-Hillsborough, Alafia, Little Manatee, and Manatee-and more than 40 meandering, brackish creeks and coastal streams. Both water quality and ecological health in Tampa Bay are affected by activities in these watersheds, which contribute significant freshwater flows to the bay. The bay contains more than 200 commercial and recreational fish species, and its mangrove-blanketed islands support the most diverse colonial waterbird rookeries in North America.

Follow the links below to learn more about each watershed in the basin.

Hillsborough River Watershedicon

Alafia River Watershedicon

Little Manatee River Watershedicon

Manatee River Watershedicon

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