Watershed Management: Watershed Planning
Cross Bayou Canal Watershed
The Cross Bayou Canal watershed is located in central Pinellas County and encompasses approximately 7,697 acres. The 10.5-mile long Cross Bayou Canal bisects the watershed and connects to both Old Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay on its northeastern and southwestern ends, respectively. Canal water can flow in either direction depending upon tidal conditions, but normally water from the north and south halves do not mix.
Ultimately, the implementation of a Watershed Management Plan will serve to increase functional habitat in the Tampa Bay watershed and will reduce pollutant loads to Old Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay. Habitat enhancement, water quality improvement, and pollutant loading reductions to Tampa Bay are in accord with the goals in SWFWMD's SWIM Plan for Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay (National) Estuary Program's Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP).
The Watershed Management Plan was completed in 2014. The BMP Report includes eight recommended projects to relieve flooding and improve water quality and habitat. One project is currently in the planning stages and includes sediment and vegetation removal from 102nd Ave N to 150th Ave N to improve conveyance in the system.
Pinellas County Watershed Management has organized several Cross Bayou Clean-Up events in conjunction with Keep Pinellas Beautiful. The Clean-Up efforts took place in either the spring and/or fall of most years since 2000. Volunteers with canoes, kayaks, and small boats removed trash and debris from the waterway and surrounding wetlands. The efforts have been very successful. During the first event in the fall of 2000, thirty participants collected over 1.6 tons of trash.
At a recent event on March 22nd (see photos), over 70 participants removed over 2000 pounds of trash, which consisted of recyclable glass, plastic, aluminum, and paper products.