Recognizing the ecological importance of healthy and abundant seagrass meadows, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program and its partners in 1996 adopted a Tampa Bay seagrass restoration and protection goal of 15,380ha. Also adopted was a minimum bay-wide light availability target of 20.5%Io (surface irradiance) at bay segment specific depths required to reach the restoration goal (target depths). A management process to limit nitrogen loading to the system was developed and implemented to eventually increase the 1996 seagrass coverage of approximately 10,000ha to the adopted goal. Current seagrass expansion is progressing at a moderate long-term rate of about 100ha per year. At that rate the bay-wide TBEP seagrass restoration goal may not be reached until 2050. A re-evaluation of the adopted seagrass management strategy was initiated in 2007. One aspect of the re-valuation process was to develop a calibrated and verified Tampa Bay specific bio-optical model to provide enhanced information on the light climate in the shallow waters where seagrass grow or could be expected to grow. The model was calibrated and verified using Tampa Bay water quality parameters (chlorophyll-a, turbidity (NTU) and color (CDOM)) and water column optical properties.