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Cockroach Bay Preserve

Admission Fee

FREE

Features

  1. Bird Watching
  2. Boat Ramp
  3. Canoe / Kayak - Launch
  4. Hiking
  5. Nature Study
  6. Parking
  7. Scenic Overlook
Estuarine shoreline, restored tidal wetlands, and replanted upland areas located along both sides of Cockroach Bay Road in Ruskin.

Boat Ramp and Parking
Boat ramp access point and parking are located at the western dead end of Cockroach Bay Road leads to mangrove islands and the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve. Parking is along Cockroach Bay Road or 3839 Gulf City Road.   A short hike and climb from the parking on Gulf City Road is a scenic overlook which gives a spectacular view of the restoration and natural habitats in the area.

Cockroach Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project
The Cockroach Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project represents one of the largest, most complex coastal ecosystem restoration projects ever developed for Tampa Bay. The 20-year restoration project was initiated and managed by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department and the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Surface Water Improvement and Management Program.

Before the restoration, this area suffered from a number of environmental problems including habitat degradation, invasive plant infestation and poor water quality. Hillsborough County purchased the Cockroach Bay property in 1991. Planning began immediately and work soon started to restore 500 acres of wetlands, uplands and coastal habitats. Stormwater treatment and agricultural runoff also were improved as part of the restoration.

The final phase of the project included restoring two shell pits, funded by the Tampa Port Authority. The completion of this work in 2012 marked the successful end of the 20-year restoration effort that has improved the health of Tampa Bay and its sea life.

Preserve Management
To learn more about the management of this and other County Preserves, click here.