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red tide in tampa bay

OnTask Providing Support to Tampa Bay Waterkeeper in the Fight Against Piney Point

During the month of April, more than 200 million gallons of polluted water and waste were dumped into local waterways by a Tampa fertilizer plant called Piney Point. This waste discharge was meant to prevent a collapse of an improperly maintained reservoir that threatened to flood local communities.

Now a few months later, Tampa bay and its surrounding areas are feeling the effects. As a result, the area experienced one of the worst cases of red tide in recent years. Scientists have confirmed that high amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and ammonia introduced into the waterway majorly influenced the harmful algal blooms this year. This led to the death of over 1,600 tons of marine life, a huge blow to both the ecosystem and the local fishing communities.

Aiding the Fight for Florida’s Waterways
This devastating event would not go unrecognized. With the aid of a few other local organizations, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting waterways in Hillsborough county, is suing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as well as other responsible parties for the matter. Their goal is to hold everyone who contributed to this environmental disaster accountable.

Filing this suit and bringing awareness to the issue takes a large number of volunteers, therefore creating an influx of waivers to be signed. To aid in this fight, Steve Wilson, President of OnTask, worked to create a limited liability waiver workflow to make it easier for the Tampa Bay Waterkeepers to onboard new volunteers.

The Results
Now, instead of spending time on these volunteer waivers, the entire process has been taken digital. Victoria Gambale, one of the main board members of the organization, says that working with OnTask has been great, and says their participants find it really easy to sign and return their documents. She is able to send out email requests for volunteers and include a link to their waiver inside the email, making it easy for her team to garner new volunteers for all of their upcoming events.

We are truly honored to be able to help Tampa Bay Waterkeeper in their fight for Tampa’s waterways. For ways to support their initiative, click here.