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Local man’s invention stops trash from getting into Tampa Bay

Local man's invention stops trash from getting into Tampa Bay

  • For trash left in the streets in and around Ybor City, most of it usually makes its way through various storm drains, before flowing into nearby McKay Bay and ultimately Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • “We’ve been focusing on preserving McKay Bay for the last few years, so we were wondering how to prevent the trash from flowing in constantly.”
  • “When you look at it, it’s a very simple device,” said Deb Evanson, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful’s Executive Director.
  • The watergoat is the brainchild of Mark Maksimowicz of St. Pete, who says he was alarmed by the amount of trash pouring into the bay with each rain event.
  • Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful purchased its watergoat for McKay Bay in May.

It's called a 'watergoat,' and it works by blocking trash that travels through our storm drains and into our rivers from further flowing into the bay.

TAMPA – When you see a piece of trash on the sidewalk or on the road, do you ever stop to think about where it will ultimately wind up?

For trash left in the streets in and around Ybor City, most of it usually makes its way through various storm drains, before flowing into nearby McKay Bay and ultimately Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

“A lot of people don’t really think about how one action affects so many different things,” said Christina Arenas, the environmental program manager with the non-profit Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.

“We’ve been focusing on preserving McKay Bay for the last few years, so we were wondering how to prevent the trash from flowing in constantly.”

The solution: a watergoat.

It’s not an animal, but a simple system of buoys and netting designed to catch the trash before it flows any further. It’s set up in the water adjacent to the McKay Bay Nature Park.

“When you look at it, it’s a very simple device,” said Deb Evanson, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful’s Executive Director.

The watergoat is the brainchild of Mark Maksimowicz of St. Pete, who says he was alarmed by the amount of trash pouring into the bay with each rain event.

He’s happy to see a group like Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful recognize the dangers, he said.

“The watergoat works while providing education and valuable—and sometimes embarrassing—data,” Maksimowicz said.

Local man’s invention stops trash from getting into Tampa Bay

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