Cockroach Bay Nature Reserve is one of Ruskin’s hidden gems


RUSKIN, Florida – In the far west of Ruskin, you’ll find one of the area’s hidden gems.

Cockroach Bay Nature Reserve is so pristine that you would hardly know any fossils were unearthed there.

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Hillsborough County, along with state and federal partners, has worked for years to restore the ecosystem here.

This is part of the county’s ELAPP program. Before the county bought Cockroach Bay in 1991, the area suffered from a plant infestation and poor water quality. Something you wouldn’t even notice today.

“We have preserved about 64,000 acres across our county and are stringing them together in wildlife corridors, which is a great triumph for Hillsborough County is one of the things Hillsborough County can be very proud of. Ruskin residents can be proud of here, ”says Commissioner Mariella Smith.

The teams were able to improve the treatment of rainwater, agricultural runoff and restore two shell pits.

Today you can take a shell trail to the top of the lookout and see how beautiful it has become.

“So this is a wonderful legacy for future generations that Hillsborough County in our ELAPP Nature Preserve program has been able to preserve here,” said Smith.

One quick glance and you’ll notice Tropicana Field, the Sunshine Skyway, and downtown Tampa.

If you prefer boating and kayaking, head to the boat ramps. The views are just as magnificent. Our crews had the chance to catch a dolphin not far from the shore!

“It’s very beneficial for whatever people come to Tampa Bay for. So Cockroach Bay is the plain, the seagrass beds that are the nursery grounds for snooks, rockfish and mullet and all that people Blue crabs, we have a blue crab fishing industry as well as the recreational fishermen and fishing guides who make a living taking visitors and residents out fishing in Tampa Bay, ”says Smith.


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