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Hillsborough Bay

Hillsborough Bay

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located within the following watersheds: Middle Tampa Bay Watershed, Hillsborough Bay Watershed

General Information

Description

Explore general as well as scientific information about the movement, chemistry and biology of area surface water environments.

Latest Information

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Beach Water Quality from the Florida Healthy Beaches Program

Coastal beach water samples collected every two weeks by the county health departments are analyzed for enterococci and fecal coliform bacteria. High concentrations of these bacteria may indicate the presence of microorganisms that could cause diseases, infections, or rashes. County health departments will issue health advisories or warnings when these conditions are confirmed. Learn more about the Florida Healthy Beaches Program »

Note: We are currently unable to provide you with the most recent samples and alerts on this page. Please click on the county/beach links below to find beach status and alerts.

Source: Florida Healthy Beaches Program
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    Overall Trophic State Index

    "Trophic" means "relating to nutrition." The Trophic State Index (TSI) takes into account chlorophyll, nitrogen, and phosphorus, which are nutrients required by plant life. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) uses this information to determine a rating for the waterbody. Learn more about the Trophic State Index »

    Water Quality Index
    Latest Value Limiting Nutrient Historic Range Additional Information
    39 (Good)
    3/12/2014
    Source: EPC Monthly Routine Water Monitoring
    NITROGEN No Data Available No Data Available
    Legend:
    Water Quality Trophic State Index Trophic State Classification
    GOOD0 - 49Oligotrophic through Mid-Eutrophic
    FAIR50 - 59Mid-Eutrophic through Eutrophic
    POOR60 - 100Hypereutrophic
     
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      Nutrient Chemistry

      Although present in all surface waters, nutrients are among the leading causes of degradation of Florida water resources. Learn more about nutrient chemistry »

      Nutrient Chemistry
      Parameter Latest Value Historic Range Additional Information
      Total Nitrogen (TN) 469.0 ug/l
      3/12/2014
      Source: EPC Monthly Routine Water Monitoring
      34.0 - 33,865.0 ug/L
      6/1/1971 - 3/12/2014
      11,227 samples
      Total Phosphorus (TP) 207.0 ug/L
      3/12/2014
      Source: EPC Monthly Routine Water Monitoring
      24.5 - 11,700.0 ug/L
      6/1/1971 - 3/12/2014
      14,194 samples
      Chlorophyll a,
      uncorrected for
      pheophytin help icon
      8.3 ug/L
      3/12/2014
      Source: EPC Monthly Routine Water Monitoring
      0.0 - 231,600.0 ug/L
      5/22/1969 - 3/12/2014
      14,347 samples
      Chlorophyll a,
      corrected for
      pheophytin help icon
      7.6 ug/L
      3/12/2014
      Source: EPC Monthly Routine Water Monitoring
      1.1 - 53.9 ug/L
      7/18/2000 - 3/12/2014
      622 samples
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        Water Clarity

        Water clarity or turbidity measures the degree to which light is blocked because the water is cloudy or contains suspended particles, such as algae. Water clarity is one indicator of a waterbody's ability to sustain plants and wildlife. Learn more about water clarity »

        Water Clarity
        Parameter Latest Value Historic Range Additional Information
        Secchi Depth 3.0 ft
        6/11/2014 12:19:00 PM
        Source: Quarterly Routine Water Monitoring
        0.1 - 20.0 ft
        5/22/1969 - 6/11/2014
        14,300 samples
        Turbidity 4.0 NTU
        7/3/2006
        Source: IMAP Water Quality Data
        0.1 NTU - 110.0 NTU
        1/9/1974 - 7/3/2006
        6,015 samples
        Light Attenuation 0.29 Alpha/M
        5/10/1994
        Source: Mote Marine Historic Data from Legacy STORET
        No Data Available No Data Available
         
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          Bacteria

          The currently used bacterial indicators for recreational waters include total coliform, fecal coliform and enterococcus. Indicator organisms themselves are not necessarily pathogenic but their presence "indicates" or suggests recent contamination by human sewage or other waste which may result in human illness. Sources of contamination include storm water runoff, sewage overflows and feces from wild and domestic animals. Learn more about marine indicator bacteria »

          Bacteria
          Parameter Latest Value Historic Range Additional Information
          Fecal Coliform 60 CFU/100ml
          3/12/2014
          Source: EPC Monthly Routine Water Monitoring
          2 - 730,000 CFU/100ml
          11/8/1972 - 3/12/2014
          8,482 samples
          Total Coliform 4 CFU/100ml
          12/6/2000
          Source: EPC Water Quality Data
          0 - 70,000,000 CFU/100ml
          6/1/1971 - 12/6/2000
          4,627 samples
          Enterococcus 20 CFU/100ml
          3/24/2014
          Source: Florida Healthy Beaches Program and Data (Bacterial Counts)
          2 - 20,000 CFU/100ml
          1/9/2001 - 3/24/2014
          2,286 samples
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            Dissolved Oxygen

            Dissolved Oxygen (DO) is one of the most important indicators of water quality. It is essential for the survival of fish and other aquatic organisms. Learn more about dissolved oxygen »

            Additional Parameters
            Parameter Latest Value Historic Range Additional Information
            Dissolved Oxygen 4.1 mg/l
            6/11/2014 12:20:51 PM
            Source: Quarterly Routine Water Monitoring
            0.0 - 29.8 mg/l
            5/1/1969 - 6/11/2014
            427,085 samples
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              Bathymetric Maps and Depth Information

              These are the latest available contour maps of the bay's bottom. These maps can be used to determine where "holes" (deep spots) exist on the bay bottom. Such areas are often productive for fishing. Learn more about bathymetric maps »

              Bathymetric Map
              View Map Details Method River Elevation
              No Data Available No Data Available No Data Available No Data Available
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              Water Quality Contour Maps

              Example Contour Map

              Contour mapping is one of the best ways to visualize spatial differences in coastal water quality, but the software and technical expertise needed to create them is unavailable to the general public and is out of reach even to many environmental resource managers and scientists. With original funding from an Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County's Pollution Recovery Fund grant, the Water Atlas Program developed online tools to allow rapid map creation and comparison. Using these tools, anyone can view, download and print predefined maps that are automatically generated from selected data on a periodic basis. Optionally, users can create their own custom contour maps to display any data that is stored on the Water Atlas, by choosing a water quality parameter and date range that interests them.

              Available water quality parameters include:

              Chlorophyll a, Color, Dissolved Oxygen (Bottom), Dissolved Oxygen (Surface), Salinity (Bottom), Salinity (Surface), Secchi Depth

              Create Custom Water Quality Contour Maps

              Access the Water Quality Contour Mapping System to generate your own custom water quality contour maps.

              OR

              View Generated Water Quality Contour Maps

              Monthly generated contour maps for all the parameters below are available.

                 
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                Impaired Waters

                The Impaired Waters Data is the most recent available data from FDEP, but it may not reflect the current FDEP impaired list. These data are updated when and as soon as they are made available from FDEP.

                Impaired

                This waterbody is impaired according to the State of Florida's Impaired Waters Rule (IWR) Chapter 62-303 F.A.C. that governs the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) Program or according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Identification of Impaired Surface Waters (IWR) is a new scientific approach for guiding Florida Department of Environmental Protection process for identifying and prioritizing impaired surface waters in Florida. The rule evaluates whether waters meet their designated uses for a particular analyte, which include aquatic life use support, primary contact and recreation use support, fish and shellfish consumption use support, and drinking water use support. All water resources in this county are designated as Class III waters. Class III waters are considered recreational use waters, which means that the water should be fishable and swimmable. Class II waters are for shellfish propagation and harvesting. Class I waters are considered potable (drinkable) water supplies. As part of the terms of a court order related to the 1998 303(d) list of impaired waters, some waters are listed as impaired by EPA but not listed by the State of Florida. Learn more about impaired waters »

                Pollutants

                This waterbody has been associated with the following WBIDs deemed impaired by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection:

                WBID Basin Impairment(s)
                1558D HILLSBOROUGH BAY (LOWER) MERCURY (IN FISH TISSUE)
                1558E HILLSBOROUGH BAY (UPPER) DISSOLVED OXYGEN, MERCURY (IN FISH TISSUE)
                1584B MCKAY BAY DISSOLVED OXYGEN, MERCURY (IN FISH TISSUE), NUTRIENTS (CHLOROPHYLL-A), NUTRIENTS (HISTORIC CHLOROPHYLL-A)
                1584C EAST BAY DISSOLVED OXYGEN, MERCURY (IN FISH TISSUE)

                Source(s): Florida Department of Environmental Protection


                This waterbody has been associated with the following WBIDs deemed impaired by the Environmental Protection Agency's 303(d) list:

                WBID Basin Impairment(s) EPA Details
                1558D HILLSBOROUGH BAY (LOWER) CHLOROPHYLL-A, DISSOLVED OXYGEN, MERCURY IN FISH TISSUE View additional EPA information »
                1558E HILLSBOROUGH BAY (UPPER) DISSOLVED OXYGEN, MERCURY IN FISH TISSUE View additional EPA information »
                1584B MCKAY BAY CHLOROPHYLL-A, DISSOLVED OXYGEN, MERCURY IN FISH TISSUE View additional EPA information »
                1584C EAST BAY DISSOLVED OXYGEN, MERCURY IN FISH TISSUE View additional EPA information »

                Source(s): US Environmental Protection Agency

                 
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                Advanced Data Features

                Files Graphs

                Data Download and Advanced Graphing Tool
                Download and/or graph water quality, hydrology, and rainfall trends using the data presented on the Atlas for use in your own analyses and reports.

                 
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