Odds & Ends
Tampa is a beautiful city to live in, but always remember that you are sharing the place with local flora and fauna. Native Floridians are usually educated in school about the potential dangers of some of this wildlife, e.g. snakes, frogs, alligators, snapping turtles, sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, etc.. Floridians are taught how to protect themselves in their often-hostile environment and you should know, too!
Regarding Florida’s venomous snakes, you should always be aware of how to identify the dangerous ones and how to react if the worst should happen. Most importantly, seek medical attention immediately, even if you are in doubt. Freshwater ponds and lakes in Florida can be home to alligators, copperhead snakes, and snapping turtles. It is best to avoid swimming in fresh water altogether.
Concerning stingrays, just remember to shuffle your feet in the sand when wading and they should avoid you. To avoid shark attacks, which occur extremely infrequently but are not unknown, do not swim at dusk or nighttime when sharks are in their prime feeding time. Never jump into a body of water in which you cannot see the bottom—there may just be a shark under you! And do not swim in a place where you were recently fishing—just common sense.
The Tampa Bay area is known for extremely strong sun, nasty thunderstorms, and hurricanes. Always wear sunscreen and move inside at the first sight of lightning. Follow all hurricane warnings and don’t chase the surf during storms.
Did You Know?
Tampa Bay is the largest open-water estuary in Florida, encompassing nearly 400 square miles and bordering three counties—Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas. More than 200 species of fish can be found in Tampa Bay, including the popular snook, redfish, and spotted sea trout. The Port of Tampa is Florida's largest port and consistently ranks among the top 10 ports nationwide in trade activity. It contributes billions annually to the region's economy.