A Fun Way to Learn About Tampa Bay

Water Walk

A stroll along the Pier admiring the waterfront is always pleasant, but now you can walk and admire Tampa Bay and learn about it as well.

WaterWalk, a colorful, outdoor interpretive display from The Pier Aquarium about the body of water called Tampa Bay, opened in August 2005. Located halfway up the approach and on both sides of the bridge, it is comprised of 10 stations or kiosks that feature Skippy the Scallop. He serves as a guide, sharing information about the ecosystems of Tampa Bay, the largest marine estuary in Florida.

Skippy explains in a “factoid” fashion the water environment, animals and plants that live in Tampa Bay and touches on conservation issues and commerce for the region.

Did you know that:

    • More than 200 species of fish live in Tampa Bay? Snook, redfish and spotted sea trout are among the species.
    • Tampa Bay is home to more than sea animals? As many as 40,000 pairs of birds nest here every year.
    • The hydrologic cycle or water cycle is a closed system? This means the same water keeps going around and around. If water gets polluted along the way, there’s less clean water to use.
    • Dolphins hunt by “fish whacking”? The dolphin whacks a fish with its tail, stunning the fish. It’s dinner time.
    • Sport fishing in Tampa Bay generates $3.5 billion for the local economy each year?

The next time you walk up to The Pier, take a few minutes and stop along Water Walk to learn about Tampa Bay.

For comprehensive, up-to-date information about the health of Tampa Bay, go to the Tampa Bay Estuary's website www.tampabay.wateratlas.org. You can learn about current water quality conditions, seagrass recovery, air quality, stream flows, beach closures and more about the bay with information provided by organizations such as the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Geological Survey.

-- funded by the Pinellas County Environmental Fund and Southwest Florida Water Management District and supported by The Pier