Fertilizer Pollution: What You Can Do

Follow the Law and Spread the Word about Safe Fertilizer Usage

Fertilizer runoff significantly impacts our waterways and ecosystems, causing nutrient pollution that can harm aquatic life and lower water quality. To tackle this issue, residents follow local rules and best practices to reduce pollution and protect our environment.

In April 2021, Miami-Dade County introduced the Florida-Friendly fertilizer ordinance. This aims to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus in our waterways and enhance the health of Biscayne Bay. The ordinance includes several important rules:

  • Skip the fertilizers during the rainy season (May 15 – Oct. 31)
  • Use only phosphorus-free fertilizers
  • Use fertilizers that have at least 65% slow-release nitrogen.
  • Apply fertilizers at least 20 feet away from bodies of water and storm drains.

The ordinance requires proper management of yard clippings to prevent them from entering waterways. It also mandates training for professional fertilizer users on best management practices.

A well-maintained lawn showing healthy grass without excessive fertilizer use

What Can I Do to Prevent Fertilizer Runoff?

As a homeowner or landscaper, it's crucial to manage your fertilizer usage responsibly. Here are some actions you can take:

  1. Educate yourself about local fertilizer regulations.
  2. Use fertilizers wisely to minimize runoff.
  3. Spread awareness in your community about the impact of fertilizer pollution.

Fertilizer Usage for Landscapers

If you use fertilizers professionally, stay updated on the best management practices and regulations to protect our water. A great way to do this is by taking the 1,000 Eyes on the Water Training provided by Miami Waterkeeper. This training is for landscapers and other professionals to help them recognize, report, and prevent environmental pollution effectively. Take this program to get the latest info on fertilizer application guidelines.

During the 1,000 Eyes on the Water Training, you'll learn:

  1. How to recognize signs of pollution in waterways
  2. The proper channels for reporting pollution incidents
  3. The importance of timely and accurate reporting
  4. How your efforts can contribute to protecting South Florida's ecosystems
  5. Best practices for applying fertilizers and minimizing nutrient pollution

Take the Training

Fertilizer Usage for Homeowners

As a homeowner, you play a crucial role in protecting South Florida's waterways and ecosystems. By managing your fertilizer usage, you can prevent nutrient pollution and safeguard the environment for future generations. Fertilizer runoff can pollute the water you love, causing harmful algal blooms, fish kills, and dead zones.

It also harms vital ecosystems like wetlands, mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs. These ecosystems support diverse wildlife, including many threatened or endangered species.

In addition to the environmental consequences, fertilizer pollution can have a direct impact on your quality of life. Clean, healthy waterways and ecosystems enhance the beauty and desirability of our communities, helping to maintain property values.

As a homeowner, you are part of a larger community that shares the responsibility for protecting our environment. Set a positive example and educate others about the importance of preventing fertilizer pollution! You can inspire your neighbors to adopt best practices and make a collective impact.

Take the Training

Resources to Report Pollution by Fertilizers

Miami Waterkeeper provides pollution reporting resources to help you combat pollution and safeguard South Florida's natural habitats. Learn how to report pollution and protect habitats effectively with our reporting resources!

Fertilizer Toolkit

This toolkit provides a comprehensive overview of the Miami-Dade Fertilizer Ordinance! These resources will help you spread the word about safe fertilizer usage.

Read More

Take the 1,000 Eyes on the Water Training

Join the "1,000 Eyes on the Water" program to help protect our waterways. This training equips you with the knowledge and tools to spot and report environmental pollution.

Learn how and what to report and your crucial role in reducing pollution's impact on ecosystems.

Take the Training

1,000 Eyes on the Water program by Miami Waterkeeper


Learn more about protecting habitats with our Habitat Protection course, which focuses on the details of South Florida's ecosystems. This course discusses the important roles of wetlands, mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs. It also addresses the problems that these habitats are facing.

Wetlands, mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs play crucial roles in the environment. However, they are currently facing various challenges.

You will learn about conservation strategies. You will also learn about restoration efforts. Additionally, you will learn how to advocate for policies that support the health and resilience of vital ecosystems.

Take the Training

Habitat Protection Training Course by Miami Waterkeeper

In conclusion, preventing fertilizer pollution is a shared responsibility that requires the collaboration of local governments, businesses, and individuals. By following best practices and adhering to local rules, we can help preserve South Florida's ecosystems. Actively participating in pollution reporting helps maintain the health of the area. Joining habitat protection programs is also vital for preserving its beauty.

We encourage everyone to use the fertilizer awareness toolkit and join the training courses provided by Miami Waterkeeper. Together, we can make a difference in protecting our environment for generations to come.