Water-Related News

Volunteers Needed: Cockroach Bay, Alafia Scrub Volunteer Cleanup Day Apr. 16

Volunteers are wanted to participate in a clean-up the Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve and the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve on April 16th.

The Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department and Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful are looking for volunteers to participate in the Great American Clean Up. On April 16, volunteers will be picking up trash and trimming the hiking trail at the Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve, 10212 Gibsonton Drive in Riverview, and paddling out to the mangrove islands to pickup trash within the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve, 3709 Gulf City Road in Ruskin.

Those wishing to participate in the Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve clean-up can register using the form at www.khcbonline.org, or on location the morning of the event. Participants are asked to bring loppers and/or trimmers if they have them available and to wear closed-toed shoes. Water and snacks will be provided.

Those wishing to participate in the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve clean-up should register using the form found at www.khcbonline.org, mailing it by April 8, since space is limited. Participants should be comfortable with paddling a canoe or kayak, wear closed-toed shoes and be prepared to walk in the water.

This event is sponsored by Hillsborough County, Cargill, Dow, Glad, Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful, Lowe's, Nestle Pure Life Water, Pepsi, Republic Services, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Solo Cup Company, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Troy-Built, Waste Management, and Wrigley.

About the Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve
The Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve was acquired in 1998. Natural plant communities within the 80-acre preserve are quite varied, including high-quality salt marsh along the Alafia River. The marsh is vegetated with black needle rush and leather fern, interspersed with oak and cabbage palm hammocks. The rest of the property is dominated by oak woods or small freshwater marshes and creeks. Species of interest include swamp azaleas and box turtles. The south boundary contains oak scrub, which is the most endangered plant community in the State of Florida. This plant community is home to protected species such as the Florida golden aster and gopher tortoises.

About the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve
The Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve was purchased in June of 1991 by Hillsborough County through its Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program. An additional 52 acres, known as the Boy Scout Property, were purchased in 2004, and 29 acres, known as the Lost River Preserve, were purchased in 2006. The preserve was originally purchased to alleviate impacts of habitat loss and water quality problems associated with stormwater runoff, agriculture and groundwater withdrawal adjacent to Cockroach Bay, and to provide an area for passive recreation. The preserve consists of mangroves islands stretching north from the mouth of Cockroach Bay into the Little Manatee River as far east as US 41, with salt marshes, tidal flats, salterns, oyster bars and 732 acres of uplands totaling more than 8,000 acres.