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Tampa Bay Watch and powerboat producer join forces for a lesson in ecology

Bill DeYoung



The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center features interactive environmental experiences for young people. Photo: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater.

The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, the science and ecology research facility housed on the St. Pete Pier, has partnered with the producer of this weekend’s Grand Prix powerboat races to raise awareness and enhance understanding of marine life in Tampa Bay.

Powerboat P1’s charitable arm, P1 Marine Foundation, is focused on reducing the environmental impacts of race events. Observers will monitor the six-mile race area on boats, on land and in a helicopter, watching for dolphins, manatees or turtles. They have the authority to stop the racing if necessary.

From 2 to 3 p.m. today (Friday, Sept. 3), drivers will be at the Discovery Center to meet with fans, and chat with children about the importance of marine stewardship.

Several racing boats will be there for inspection.

“In our early discussions to stage a Grand Prix in St. Petersburg we became aware of the outstanding work of Tampa Bay Watch and the superb facilities at its Discovery Center, and our aim is for this new partnership to continue and grow over the coming years,” P1 CEO Azam Rangoonwala said in a prepared statement. “Wherever we race, the protection of the local environment is a primary concern, and selective partnerships play a key role in achieving this.” 

The event will be filmed, and broadcast as part of P1’s race livestreaming.

Admission is free with paid admission to the Discovery Center. More information is available here.

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