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Did You Know The Bays Change Color?

Did you know most aerials are flown and taken in the winter months after a cold front during a cloudless day? The color of the water in an estuary will changewith the season and depending upon how much rain has fallen in the drainage basin. I was at the boat basin on Davis Islands in Tampa Florida and a mother did notwant her toddler to get the water in his face. I heard her say the water was dirty. The color of the water was in fact reddish brown. The boat basin is not far from the location of the confluence of the water from the Hillsborough River. The water in most of the central Florida streams is brown due to tannin from leaf decomposition in the water. Here is an image (on the left) of this boat basin in which the water is dark from runoff of the Hillsborough River and in fact other rivers and creeks that flow into Hillsborough and Tampa Bays.  Here on the right is an aerial of the basin in the winter in which the flow from the rivers and creeks is greatly reduced. Notice the color of the water is greenish blue. When I was younger the color of Hillsborough Bay was always dark due to poor waste water treatment. Today we have a state of the art waste water treatment plant for Tampa and the bay is greenish blue again!  In the future when you travel over the bridges of estuaries, notice the color and note the time of year and the amount of recent rainfall.  Enjoy this color change as it is normal and natural.

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