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Protecting the waterfront. Learn what you can do in this video.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Principle # 9:

Protect the Waterfront

Waterfront property owners have firsthand knowledge of the special contribution that lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and bays make to our quality of life. It's no surprise that these water bodies' health is a reflection of how we care for the land. The key to maintaining pristine waters is to be a good neighbor to these natural resources. Follow UF/IFAS recommendations for lawn care and landscape maintenance.

"Green Up" Opportunities to Protect Your Investment

  • Curb pollution-potential chemicals at their sources. Fertilizers, household toxins, eroding soils, and malfunctioning septic systems can dramatically affect water sources.
  • Cut the amount of runoff that picks up pollutants and carries them to the waterway. This can be accomplished by minimizing impervious surfaces that create runoff. Use porous materials like mulch or gravel instead of asphalt or concrete for patios, driveways, and walkways.
  • Capture runoff before it reaches the waterway by using shoreline buffer vegetation, rain barrels, or rain gardens.

Florida-Friendly Landscapes: Protect the Waterfront

  • Remove invasive exotic aquatic plants by cutting, pulling, or raking. If using herbicides (which may require you to get a permit), remove dead plant material from the water to reduce pollution.
  • Decrease wave action and increase habitat by placing clean native limestone rock in front of your seawall.
  • Protect your native shoreline plants (i.e., mangroves in salt water; pickerelweed and duck potato in fresh water). Never prune mangroves or remove other vegetation without first seeking proper guidelines and permits.
  • Establish a 10-foot maintenance-free zone along your shoreline. Do not mow, fertilize, or irrigate inside this 10-foot zone.

  • Decrease wave action and increase habitat by placing clean native limestone rock in front of your seawall.
  • Properly dispose of household hazardous wastes. Never pour them down the stormdrain. If you wouldn't drink it, don't dump it!
  • Inspect and maintain your septic system once every three years.
  • If possible, plant a border of low-maintenance plants between your lawn and shoreline/seawall to absorb nutrients and provide wildlife habitat.
  • Where feasible, plant native aquatic vegetation in front of your seawall or along your shoreline.
  • Create a rain garden - an area that soaks up the rain water during wet times and serves a beautiful garden all the time.