Stormwater Runoff

When water from rain or irrigation flows over lawns, driveways, streets, parking lots, and any other surface, it picks up pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants. These pollutants are carried into sewer systems or directly into a water body.

When these pollutants reach a water body, our marine resources are affected. Extra soil and unwanted sediment muddy the water and clog fish gills.  It also decreases the amount of light reaching seagrass beds and smothers other organisms that live on the bottom. Excess nutrients from fertilizers cause algal blooms, which then block light to seagrass beds, and decrease the amount of dissolved oxygen available to fish. Toxins, such as pesticides and other chemicals found in the stormwater runoff, can result in fish kills and poison aquatic plants, which can endanger the health of Florida ’s water resources.

 We all need to be stewards of the water resources because whatever we do to our land affects the water that passes through it. Here are some simple measures that you can do to help make the water leaving your area of the watershed cleaner.

  • Do not dump trash in the canals.

  • Pick up after your dog.

  • Collect and use rainwater to irrigate plants.

  • Use environmentally friendly pesticides such as horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps.

  • Leave lawn clipping on your lawn so that nutrients in the clippings are recycled.

  • Use a slow release fertilizer.

  • Plant groundcover or use mulch on thinly vegetated areas to decrease erosion.

  • Properly dispose of toxic substances like paint, paint thinner, automobile fluids, and cleaning products.

oily water flowing to stormdrain
What's in your storm drain?

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