The TBEP Sediment Quality Advisory Group (SQAG) was developed as a subgroup of the Technical Advisory Committee to investigate areas of the bay with poor sediment and benthic quality. The group has helped to design, conduct and interpret the results provided by a number of key studies investigating sediment contamination in the bay (e.g., Zarbock et al. 1996, Grabe 1997, 1999, McConnell et al. 1997, McConnell and Brink 1997, Long and Greening 1999, Janicki Environmental, Inc. 2003, MacDonald et al. 2004). In the TBEP's (2006) updated Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) an action was included to address sediment contamination: TX-1, "Address Hot Spots of Toxic Contamination in the Bay." The SQAG initially selected eight priority areas in which degraded benthic communities were associated with chemical contaminant levels of concern, including the McKay Bay/Palm River area.
McKay Bay, an important estuarine habitat located in a heavily industrialized and urbanized setting in northeast Hillsborough Bay, was ranked as the highest priority area for additional research and development of an action plan during an October 2007 SQAG meeting. The major objectives of Action Plan Development for McKay Bay was to:
- Refine the spatial extent, volume, and potential sources of sediment contamination in the McKay Bay estuary using a phased sampling approach, and
- Develop a detailed action plan to address the existing sediment contamination present in this area based upon the refined assessment.
As part of this project, a meeting was held Dec. 17, 2010 at the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County to discuss the results of the research (1. above) and further refine management actions that could be implemented as part of the Sediment Quailty Action Plan for McKay Bay (2. above). Below are presentations and discussion points stemming from that meeting:
- McKay Bay Sediment Quality Action Plan Phase 1: Characterization Report (Gerold Morrison)
- Potential Next Steps for Preliminarily Identified Sediment Quality Management Areas (SQMAs) (Group Discussion and Input)