Regarding “South Shore is heaven if you like to fish” (Aug. 14): One of the best areas to fish in the greater South Shore is Cockroach Bay. However, the time has come to upgrade South Shore’s best asset, which has now been classified as Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve.
This jewel of the local South Shore environment has four stewards that claim sponsorship of this pristine area. But only one group has really done anything: the public users (shore fishing, boaters, kayak/canoes, and birders).
The three other stewards are Hillsborough County, Tampa Port Authority and the state, and they are nowhere to be seen. They talk about restoration and protection, but do little or nothing.
By comparison, look at the Emerson Point Preserve on Snead Island in Manatee County. This has been made clean and usable, accomplished at reasonable costs, in a short period and has all the appearances of being an area of value.
If the big three Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve stewards (the Port Authority, which owns the submerged lands; the state, which reclassified it as a preserve; and Hillsborough County, which owns the surrounding lands) would pool their resources, the preserve would be a valuable county attraction. This is certainly a job-ready project that would return the investment to ensure the public traffic pattern is established as early as possible.
In this age of conservation, protection of the environment, protection of manatees, bay/land animals and wading birds, the entrance, ramp, parking and security should be raised to aquatic preserve standards.
Sun City Center