Congratulations to North Bay Village for passing a fertilizer ordinance aimed at improving water quality in Biscayne Bay!
(Source: Wikimedia Commons via Marc Averette)
As you might have seen, we've been hard at work drafting a proposed fertilizer ordinance specific for Southeast Florida! Residential lawn fertilization is estimated to be the 2nd largest source of household nitrogen in the US (Souto et al. 2019). Excess nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, that come in most fertilizers, can pollute waterways and cause environmental problems such as algae blooms. Algae blooms kill wildlife, are harmful to humans, smother seagrass, harm coral reefs, and turn our beautiful blue water green. Biscayne Bay is already starting to suffer from algae blooms and seagrass die-offs. Therefore, it’s more critical now than ever to reduce land-based pollution. Reducing the use of residential fertilizer can improve our waterways and will help to keep Biscayne Bay blue!
In Florida, 85 municipalities and 32 counties have been passed fertilizer ordinances since 2007. Just over half of municipal ordinances include rainy season bans. Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties are some of the last areas without ordinances. However, North Bay Village passed an ordinance this week based on our proposed version that would make the Village the first in Miami Dade County with such an ordinance on the books!
In short, the fertilizer ordinance regulates the use of fertilizer in North Bay Village. It specifies appropriate application rates, application practices, includes a setback from waterways, and has prohibited application periods during the summer rainy season. With these changes, we can all help to safeguard our water quality.
We look forward to working with North Bay Village and their residents as we implement an educational effort related to the new fertilizer requirements! Thank you to Vice Mayor Marvin Wilmoth and the Commission for your support!
Are you interested in bringing a fertilizer ordinance to your region? Check-in with us at [email protected] for more information and to work with our team!