fertilizer blog

Water Win: Fertilizer Awareness Week Vote Passes Unanimously

Mark your calendars! The Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution that declared the week of May 9 -15, 2022, our first Fertilizer Awareness week! The future of Biscayne Bay and South Florida’s waterways brightened with this news.

We know how much our neighbors and communities take pride in their beautiful lawns and gardens, creating the lush, subtropical panorama that South Florida is famous for. However, given our proximity to sensitive waters like Biscayne Bay, fertilizer application to nourish our landscapes must be done with special care. If not applied correctly, the nutrients found in fertilizers can run off into local waterways when it rains, eventually making their way to the Bay, producing toxic algae blooms, causing seagrass die-offs, and depriving the water of the critical oxygen needed to sustain marine life. 

Can you keep your lovely green lawns and gardens and help protect the Bay at the same time? Yes, you can! Simply follow the rules set by the fertilizer ordinance that the County passed in April 2021. Miami Waterkeeper advocated for and helped write this important ordinance! 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Don’t apply fertilizer during our rainy season from May 15 to  October 31 when it’s too rainy
  • Don’t use fertilizer containing phosphorus - our soil is already phosphorous-rich.
  • Limit the amount of nitrogen in your application -- use the required 65% slow-release nitrogen in your fertilizer mix
  • Always keep a 20-foot setback between nearby waterways or storm drains when you apply fertilizer 

Fertilizer Awareness Week will be an annual event! To promote our ground-breaking fertilizer ordinance, the second week of May every year from here on will be “Fertilizer Awareness Week” as part of the County’s fertilizer education campaign.

Please join Miami Waterkeeper and Miami-Dade County in educating our community about excess fertilizer nutrients in our environment during Fertilizer Awareness Week. Residents, property owners, and businesses that use and work with fertilizer can all be reminded of and educated about smart fertilizer applications to ensure that our beautiful Biscayne Bay is not further degraded. Our manatees, fish, and seagrasses are counting on you!

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