The Indian River Lagoon watershed includes most of the land from South Volusia County to South Martin County east of interstate I-95. It is a HUGE area and every household therein contributes to the load of nonpoint source pollutants reaching the lagoon. Like it or not, every house contributes to the source of pollution entering the lagoon and every house can make a difference.
To successfully restore the Indian River Lagoon, we all must do our part. Everyday actions such as fertilizing the lawn, washing the car, or walking the dog can have a major impact on Lagoon water quality. The Lagoon can’t be fixed by government and non-profit restoration partners alone. It will take all of us. By making simple changes in our lives, we each can take part in restoring the Lagoon for future generations to enjoy. Here are a few tips for reducing the pollution going to the Indian River Lagoon.
Give Your Lawn a Break From Fertilizer This Summer!
New fertilizer rules are in effect. Click here for more information on your local fertilizer ordinance.
• Don’t apply N (nitrogen) fertilizer between June 1 and September 30
• Don’t apply P (phosphorous) without a soil test
• In the spring, apply a 50% slow release nitrogen fertilizer
• Stay 15–25 feet from shorelines (this set-bck varies by ordinance)
• Ask your professional what they are applying and when
Build a Rain Garden!
Build a Rain Barrel
Capture rainwater before it leaves your lot and use it for irrigation later. Click here to view a video on how to build and install a rain barrel or attend a rain barrel workshop near you.
Some cities will provide a rain barrel rebate on your Stormwater utility fee. Find out if your city does by contacting their stormwater department!
Create a Vegetative Buffer
Plant pretty native vegetation along the shoreline that doesn’t require any fertilizer or mowing. Click here to get started.
Test Your Soil
Brevard County Extension Service can run some nutrient analyses at low cost.
Call 633-1702 or go by their office to pick up the Soil Testing Kit:
3695 Lake Drive
Cocoa, FL 32926
Keep Lawn Clippings Out of the Street
• Use a mulching mower
• Divert the mower chute away from impervious surfaces
• Blow clippings back onto the lawn
Kill Weeds Naturally
Cut off top of weed and carefully pour boiling water over it.
Be Floridian and enjoy our native wild flowers! Create islands of flowers in your lawn-scape. Start here for ideas.
Create Pervious Areas Where Water Can Infiltrate to the Ground
• Pervious pavers
• Mulch or pine straw
• Pea gravel or shell
Don’t Dump Your Aquarium!
Common aquarium plants and lionfish are outcompeting native species. Learn more about trapping and eating lionfish here.
Avoid Sea Grass Beds
Our precious sea grass will be trying to grow back. Don’t accidentally kill it!
Steer clear of sea grass beds in shallow water. There are precious few left!
Dispose of Pet Waste in the Trash
Don’t curb your dog. Bring a bag and pick it up. You don’t want to end up swimming in it!
Dispose of Your Trash
Cigarette butts are still the #1 item recovered during Coastal Cleanup events. Batten the trash in your boat or truck.
Dispose of Medicines
Don’t pour them in the toilet or down the drain. Scratch out identification and put in trash or look for a Drug take back program near you. For more information, click here.
Take Your Car to the Carwash
Wash your car on the grass or take it to a car wash. Washing your car in the street or driveway is like washing it on the lagoon.
Share Information as a Ted Moorhead Lagoon House Docent
Create Habitat, Plant Mangroves
Mangrove help to clean water, stabilize shorelines, and provide habitat. Collect mangrove propagules and bring them to MRC for habitat restoration or plant them along the shoreline.
For more information on mangroves, click here.
Encourage policies to protect the Indian River Lagoon. Click here for a list of local representatives.
Hundreds of businesses and individuals are signing the “Save the Indian River Lagoon Petition” that simply asks our government representatives to do all they can do to protect the Lagoon. Download and send it in.
Stay current on what’s going in session this year and sign up for MRCs e-newsletter!
Attend a Workshop