What is Nutrient Pollution?
Nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, are naturally occurring – but can be too much of a good thing when found in high concentrations in our waterways. Nutrient pollution can contribute to algae blooms. Algae blooms turn the water green and smell terrible, smothering seagrass and killing fish -- they can even be harmful to humans.
Fertilizers are often over-used in residential landscaping. Biscayne Bay and our canals are extremely sensitive to excess nutrients, so we have to be sure to keep these nutrients out of the water to avoid algae blooms.
Highlights of Coral Gables Fertilizer Ordinance (Passed February 2021)
Signed Coral Gables Fertilizer Ordinance 2021-10 [PDF]
- No person shall apply fertilizers containing nitrogen or phosphorus to turf or landscape plants during the prohibited application period, which will run from June 1 to September 30 each year or when a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch or Warning is in effect for the City.
- Outside of the prohibited application period, fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorus shall not be applied within twenty (20) feet of any pond, stream, watercourse, lake, canal, or wetland or within twenty (20) feet from the top of a seawall. In no case shall any type of fertilizer be dumped, broadcast, washed, swept, or blown into stormwater drains, ditches, conveyances or water bodies.
- Given the serious threat to the public health, safety and welfare no warning shall be given by a code enforcement officer prior to the issuance of a citation.
- First violation: $150.00
- Second violation: $300.00
- Third violation: $500.00
Additional Educational Resources
Coral Gables Fertilizer Ordinance Educational Flyer [PDF]
Additional Tips to Reduce Nutrient Runoff Pollution
- Minimize or eliminate fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide use or switch to organic varieties that are not harmful
- Plant native plants – they are naturally adapted to our climate and don’t require a lot of water and fertilizer
- Avoid over-watering your lawn
- Use mulch instead of herbicides to help control weeds
- Sweep up debris – don’t hose down your driveway
For more information please email email@example.com or call 305-460-5008