Tampa Bay coastal acidification research featured in EPA National Estuary Program report

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Tampa Bay coastal acidification research conducted by Dr. Kim Yates of SPCMSC was highlighted in the latest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Estuary Program (NEP) Report, “The National Estuary Program: At the Forefront of Climate Change Adaptation, Hazard Mitigation, and Resilience.”

three panel image. a buoy on the surface of the ocean. map with three dots in the bay & dot in gulf. a tower above water.

(A) Ocean Carbon System version 3 (OCSv3) located in the Gulf of Mexico at COMPS C12 buoy. (B) Map of Tampa Bay and coastal Gulf of Mexico with locations of OCS systems. White circles indicate locations of OCS systems. Green triangles indicate the mouths of the Little Manatee River to the northeast and the Manatee River to the southwest of the OCSv2 system. (C) Ocean Carbon System version 2 (OCSv2) located in lower-middle Tampa Bay at PORTS station. (Credit: Mitch Lemon, Cherokee Nation Systems Solutions, Contracted to USGS. Map image is the intellectual property of Esri and is used herein under license. Copyright © 2021 Esri and its licensors. All rights reserved.)

Dr. Kim Yates of the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center has partnered with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, EPA National Estuary Program, University of South Florida, and other state and local collaborators for several years to conduct coastal acidification research in Tampa Bay. The partners developed and deployed two ocean carbon systems, one within the bay and a second 60 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico to study changes in acidification parameters within and near the bay. The results of these studies are used to study processes and consequences of acidification, effects of seagrass beds on seawater carbon chemistry and blue carbon, and the potential role of seagrass in protecting Tampa Bay’s marine species from harmful effects of climate change and coastal and ocean acidification. These data are shared and compared across regions and synthesized into national assessments such as the recent EPA report, “Measuring Coastal Acidification Using in Situ Sensors in the National Estuary Program.”

This research is featured within a recently released Environmental Protection Agency report, “The National Estuary Program: At the Forefront of Climate Change Adaptation, Hazard Mitigation, and Resilience.” The report describes the NEP’s efforts to address climate change impacts in their watersheds, working in partnership with federal, state, and local entities. The document specifically focuses on more than 145 NEP projects active in the past four years, between fiscal years 2017-2020. The NEPs implement a wide-ranging portfolio of climate adaptation, hazard mitigation, and resiliency projects. The NEP was established as a non-regulatory program to improve the waters and habitats of 28 estuaries of national significance, including Tampa Bay.

For more information please visit:

Read the new EPA report: The National Estuary Program: At the Forefront of Climate Change Adaptation, Hazard Mitigation, and Resilience

Visit the EPA report webpage: The National Estuary Program: At the Forefront of Climate Change Adaptation, Hazard Mitigation, and Resilience

Read the related EPA report: Measuring Coastal Acidification Using In Situ Sensors in the National Estuary Program

Read the Frontiers in Maarine Science research article: Integrating High-Resolution Coastal Acidification Monitoring Data Across Seven United States Estuaries

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