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New Tampa Bay nonprofit will patrol and protect area waterways

Tampa Bay Waterkeeper founder Andrew Hayslip has extensive background in environmental science and land use planning

St. Petersburg, Fla. (01/22/18, 2018) – Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, a new nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and improving the Tampa Bay watershed, will combine sound science, policy advocacy, and grassroots community engagement and education to protect, defend and restore the bay.

Andrew Hayslip, with a deep knowledge of the Tampa Bay watershed and commitment to fighting for clean water, founded Tampa Bay Waterkeeper in late 2017 after approval from the Waterkeeper Alliance Board of Directors. The Waterkeeper Alliance is an international organization that empowers individuals and communities to protect and improve their local watersheds. Tampa Bay Waterkeeper joins a network of more than 300 waterkeeper organizations working to protect water around the world.

As executive director of Tampa Bay Waterkeeper and part of the Waterkeeper Alliance, Hayslip will work to protect and preserve the bay and its tributaries. He combines his extensive knowledge of the waterway with a commitment to protecting the community’s right to clean water.

Tampa Bay Waterkeeper will work in collaboration with community members and local organizations to tackle the biggest threats to water quality in the Tampa Bay area, including stormwater and wastewater pollution. The organization will also work to help Tampa Bay and its communities become resilient in the face of rising seas and climate change.

“Waterkeeper Alliance is thrilled to have Tampa Bay Waterkeeper to be the eyes, ears and voice for this vital watershed and community,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Every community deserves to have swimmable, drinkable and fishable water, and Tampa Bay Waterkeeper is the right leader to fight for clean water in the region.”

Tampa Bay Waterkeeper will focus on a geographic area that includes Tampa Bay, and Hillsborough, Alafia, and Little Manatee Rivers. With the help of citizen scientists and volunteers, the organization will build a robust water quality monitoring program. It will also offer a Swim Guide in the form of a smartphone app and website that citizens will be able to use to stay informed on whether it’s safe to swim in the waters of Tampa Bay.

“Tampa Bay Waterkeeper will have an incredibly important job. Waterkeepers defend their communities against anyone who threatens their right to clean water, from law-breaking polluters to irresponsible government officials,” said Marc Yaggi, Executive Director of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Until our public agencies have the means necessary to protect us from polluters, and the will to enforce the law, there will always be a great need for people like Andrew to fight for our right to clean water.”

Hayslip previously served as the Watauga Riverkeeper while working with MountainTrue in Boone, N.C. In that role he worked to monitor and protect the Watauga River Basin in Western North Carolina. Prior to joining the Waterkeeper Alliance, Hayslip worked to protect and conserve Florida’s natural resources at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He also has a background in land use planning, and has worked with local governments to make places more livable and sustainable.

Hayslip received his bachelor’s degree in geography and urban planning from Florida State University and his master’s degree in environmental science and policy at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where he studied water resources planning and management.

“No matter where you are throughout Tampa Bay, you should be able to jump off a dock or into a kayak without any concern for your health,” Hayslip said. “By advocating for clean water and holding polluters accountable, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper works to improve the quality of life for all citizens of the Tampa Bay area, whether they rely on our water for drinking, recreation, or they simply value the bay’s continued well-being.”

For more information on Tampa Bay Waterkeeper and how you can get involved and help protect the bay, visit tampabaywaterkeeper.org.

About Tampa Bay Waterkeeper
Tampa Bay Waterkeeper’s mission is to protect and improve the Tampa Bay Watershed while ensuring fishable, swimmable, and drinkable water for all. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper will use evidence-based advocacy to serve as a strong voice for the Tampa Bay watershed. www.tampabaywaterkeeper.org.

About Waterkeeper Alliance
Waterkeeper Alliance is a global movement uniting over 300 Waterkeeper organizations around the world and focusing citizen advocacy on issues that affect our waterways, from pollution to climate change. Waterkeepers patrol and protect more than 2.4 million square miles of rivers, streams and coastlines in the Americas, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. www.waterkeeper.org.

Contacts:
Andrew Hayslip, Executive Director
Tampa Bay Waterkeeper
andy@tampabaywaterkeeper.org                     
727.537.0484

Maia Raposo, Director of Communications & Marketing
Waterkeeper Alliance
mraposo@waterkeeper.org
212.747.0622 ext. 116

PRINT THIS RELEASE: Waterkeeper release_1-22-18