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 Baylife On Planet Earth
by Bill Gallagher


 
 TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA

    Tampa is a city of History. Founded in the early 1800's as Fort
  (George Mercer) Brooke, at the mouth of the Hillsborough River
  where it empties into Tampa Bay, its original reason-for-being was
  to quell the "Seminole Menace", but afterward it became central to
  activities both military and civilian. From there Tampa City has
  grown into a sprawling metropolis of huge proportions. To learn
  more about Fort Brooke as the beginning of Tampa, visit
 tampabayhistorycenter.org/ftbrooke.htm .

    Because of the Floridian climate and proximity to both Tampa Bay
  and the Gulf of Mexico, this area in many ways epitomizes Bay
  Lifestyles on Planet Earth: Fishing, Boating, Jet and Water Skiing....
  any sport associated with water can be found in abundance in
  Tampa Bay, and then some. To see some of the more "Off the wall"
   water sports going on in this bay community,
  visit: www.tampabaykitesurf.com.

    Prior to the 1970's industrial pollution had been a problem in the
  waterways surrounding the City of Tampa, as it was in many city's
  near water, but great efforts have been made to clean and restore
  Tampa's aquatic resources, with excellent results. Fishing in
  Tampa Bay is a great past time here, and it is no wonder. For good
  tide info visit www.gandybait.com, and to get lots more info on
  fishing in the Bay area visit Captain Charlie's site at
  www.floridasaltwater.com.

    Among the many things that make Bay Living in Tampa unique is a
  geological formation called Agatized Coral, found only around the
  Ballast Point region on the Gadsen peninsula below Tampa City proper.
  This stone is extremely rare, from a global point of view, and besides
  being the State Stone of Florida, Agatized Coral comprises the remains
  of an ancient coral reef where over a dozen coral species were preserved
  that are unknown in any other part of the world.
  Visit www.fossilcoral.com to see examples of this beautiful gem quality
  agate fossilized coral, and to read more about the formation itself. As an
  aside it should be mentioned that the domain name AgatizedCoral.com is
  presently for sale. Contact the webmaster for details.

    Keeping History in mind, it would be an incomplete visit to Tampa
  indeed, without stopping by Ybor City, a restored historical district and
  nexus of activity for many people and things. Ybor City is the home of
  Tampa's cigar making industry, and has been since its inception,
  although much of that has been replaced with a true variety of
  proprietorships and establishments now. Shops, Nightclubs
  www.castle-ybor.com , and businesses of all types occupy the old
  buildings, and there is more than a hint of rustic in the air.
  For a good view of Ybor City as it once was visit
  www.ybormuseum.org/museum.html.

    Prior to The arrival of Fort Brooke in 1824, the Tampa Bay region was
  well known among the indigenous people of Florida, and archaeological
  remains of this area speak loudly of its popularity among ancient
  Floridians, whose presence can be detected as far back as the end of the
  last ice age. For a good view of some fine west central Florida indian
  artifacts, and much more, visit www.paleoenterprises.com.

    Librarys are the true intellectual heart of any city, and there is no
  better place to measure the real pulse of a community than at its libraries.
  To access Tampa's Library system, part of the Hillsborough County
  Library System, visit www.hcplc.org.

    Tampa Bay considers itself a great patron of the Arts, and from the
  architecture and sculpture of Downtown, to wall paintings and murals,
  it portrays an image of that well. Visit the Tampa Museum of Art or
  check out www.salvadordalimuseum.org.

    Tampa Florida is also home to Macdill AFB, as well as to the largest
  community of retired military personnel in the world. Many nearby
  industry facilities cater to military contracts and other aspects
  government funding. The official site of Macdill AFB is here,
  www.macdill.af.mil.

     Below are several links having to do with the Tampa Bay Area,
  and they should come in very handy indeed for anyone interested in
  visiting the area, or learning more. Thanks for visiting with us once
  again in this column, and please stay tuned for more
  "Baylife on Planet Earth" community features in the future.


  www.tbay.com
  http://www.thecentroybor.com
 
  Bay Living on Planet Earth.
  Bill Gallagher 12-22-02