Your everyday actions can help keep Florida’s waterways healthy and free of nutrient pollution! Follow some of these tips to reduce your impact on our precious aquatic ecosystems.
Why Take Action?
Nutrients from products we use everyday can run off into Florida’s waterways. In excess, these chemicals, which include nitrogen and phosphorus, can spur a cycle that may harm aquatic vegetation, worsen toxic algae blooms, or even cause marine life to perish if their oxygen is depleted.
- Test your soil before applying fertilizer.
- Take care not to overdo it and only use what your plants need.
- Never fertilize if it is about to rain (chemicals can be washed away!).
- Consider using slow-release products.
Plant Native Plants
- Native plants are suited to the ecosystem and need less fertilizer, water, and maintenance.
- Many of these plants absorb harmful nutrients.
- They can prevent soil erosion and resulting runoff.
Use a Commercial Carwash
- The water and chemicals used to wash your car at home can easily be flushed into storm drains.
- Many commercial car washes are required to recycle water and have systems in place to prevent it from running into waterways.
Where Can I Find More Information?
- South Florida Water Management District Guidelines
- Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Tips
- UF/IFAS Florida Friendly Landscaping Program
Featured image from Flickr user Diana Robinson (CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0).