August 11, 1986
Drive on to restore
area creeks' sparkle
The focus on cleaning up gestons for improving the creeks or with Infor-
mation about three in particular Delaney
Tampa Bay overlooks the Creek, Allen's Creek n Pnelas County ad
Frog Creek in Manatee County.
necessity of clean tributaries, His study will suggest provements for
OffalS 8av these three creeks, which be hopes can be p-
officials say. ped to al 44 of them.
"Every single tidal tributary has been
ditched, drained or rerouted In some way,"
By KIM KLEMAN Clark said. Improvements might include restor-
Tribune Staff Writer nog the waters to their oncemeandering fows,
and managing storm water runoff, he said.
The creeks that feed Tampa Bay, Florida's The creeks are important to the quality of
largest estuary, are in trouble. Tampa Bay because they are nursery grounds
Pesticides and fertilizers wash Into their to fish such as snook and redflsh and are a
waters from nearby farms. Many creeks have haven for many fish from predators. They're
been dredged into straight channels that gush a al n important source of fresh water.
runoff from streets andguttersinto the bay. "Tidal creeks are probably some of the most
And in at least one case, Delaney Creek in important habitat in the bay," said Robin Lews.
eastern Hillsborough County, battery csins an environmental consultant "If you want the
and other debris are piled on ts banks. mst bang for the buck, tidal creek restoration
"You can clean up the bay, but a lot of pollu- is probably the most important restoration "
tants going into the bay come from tributaries While there has been much talk about fting
and creeks" said Peter Clark of the Tampa Bay up the bay, little attention has paid to be
Regional Planning Council, which is aunching creeks. Clark said.
an effort to ocean up the creeks. "Most of them have been ignore a
He needs help. During two days of public said. "We're just trying to rattle ev day's
meetings this week, Clark wants residents to
come to the regional planning council withg- See CREEKS, Page aI
S Much of the natural wetland
C r areas have been filled and bulk
Creeks beaded and the stream has been
dredged "extensively," according to
SFrm Pae 1B a regional planning council report.
rm Page IB Many fish species have been
cage to make them aware of how Im- wiped out of the creek, although It
partant these systems are." has the potential as a nursery for
Delaney Creek, in eastern Hills- Spanish mackerel and bluefish.
Sborough County, s one of the creeks Frog Creek in northwestern
in the poorest condition. The creek Manatee County is one of the most
which cnmes State Road 676 and prmine that feeds the bay. But the
U.S. Highway 301 and runs south of vast agricultural tracts It phases
Brandon, gets hit with a triple- could harm it in future years with
whammy: agricultural runoff up runoff containing pesticides and fer-
tream and pollutants from urban tllizers. That's why the council wants
I and dustrial areas downstream. to act now, Clark said,
It is plagued with too much nitro- The public workshop on Delaney
gae and other nutrients and has lost Creek will be held Tuesday from
much of its vegetation. It has the 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the planning
potential, however, to become a pro- council, 9455 Koger Blvd. in St.
ductive fish nursery. Petersburg.
Allen's Creek crosses urban and Allen's. Creek will be discussed
residential areas n Clearwater, as there Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to
well as some of the busiest roads in 12:30 p.m. The Frog Creek workshop
the area: US. Highway 19 and State will be held there Wednesday from
Road 60. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.