Tampa Bay, arm of the Gulf of Mexico, which bleeds the west coast of Florida, American pirates roamed the Gulf Coast, but more myths than facts have inspired regional folklore. The Tampa Bay Area has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa) with hot, humid summers, with daily thunderstorms, drier, predominantly sunny winters, and warm-to-warm waters with a pronounced dry season maximum. The Tampa Bay Area is well known for its beaches, with the warm, blue waters of the Gulf and nearly 70 miles of barrier islands from north of Pinellas south to Venice, attracting tourists from all over the world. Between this depopulation and the indifference of its colonial owners, the Tampa Bay region would be virtually uninhabited for almost 200 years.
Fort Brooke spawned Tampa on the Northeast Coast, Fort Harrison (a minor military post on Florida's west coast) spawned Clearwater, Braden's Town trading post became Bradenton in the south, and St. With the goal of turning Tampa into a tourist destination, Dodge partnered with federal bureaucrat George W. These cultures relied heavily on Tampa Bay for food, and the waters were rich enough to be one of the few Native American cultures they didn't have to cultivate. Because it is so shallow, artificial transportation channels have been dredged to allow safe passage of large ships to the Port of Tampa and other ports in the Bay.
The mangrove-covered islands in Tampa Bay are home to North America's most diverse colonial waterbird nesting colonies, and annually host 40,000 pairs of 25 bird species, from the well-known white ibis and great blue heron to the regal reddish egret, the nation's rarest heron. Tampa Bay is home to more than 200 species of fish, including the popular snook, redfish and spotted sea trout. In the early 20th century, traveling overland among the growing communities around Tampa Bay was an arduous process. Today, the area is home to about 4 million residents, making Tampa Bay a heavily used commercial and recreational waterway and subjecting it to increasing amounts of pollutants from industry, agriculture, wastewater and surface runoff.
The Tocopaga, who built their main city near the current security harbor in the northwest corner of former Tampa Bay, are the most documented group of that time because they had the most interactions with Spanish explorers. Tampa Bay formed approximately 6,000 years ago as a drowned, brackish river valley type estuary with a wide mouth connecting it to the Gulf of Mexico. Because of these many flows into the bay, its large watershed covers portions of five Florida counties and approximately 2,200 square miles (5,700 km). Tampa's official high has never reached 100° F (38° C), the all-time record high temperature is 99° F (37° C).
Pinellas County is located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and much of the city of Tampa is located on a smaller peninsula that extends into Tampa Bay.