Conserve beach plants and animals. You’ll find lots of colorful and attractive plants growing along our coast. Don’t pick them. They are essential for wildlife habitat and for holding beaches together.
When boating, avoid shallow water where the boat’s propeller can disturb habitat of bottom dwellers, observe speed limits in no wake zones, repair all fuel and oil leaks promptly.
Floridians put about 7 million gallons of oil into the environment each year by pouring it down storm drains, tossing it in the garbage, or simply dumping it into the ground. Collect used oil and antifreeze and take them to a collection center, garage or recycling center. Use only non-phosphate detergents to wash your car, and wash your car in the grass so soap is not washed into the storm system.
If you use automatic sprinklers, install a soil moisture sensor and water your lawn only as often as needed. Adjust sprinklers to reduce runoff from the yard. Don’t allow sprinklers to put water on driveways or sidewalks.
Get involved and clean the coast during the International Coastal Cleanup. Each year on the third Saturday in September, more than 10,000 Floridians volunteer for a one-day cleanup of the Sunshine State’s coastline.
Choose the right plants for your location–they will use less fertilizer and water. If you need fertilizer, use it sparingly, and use the slow-release type. Contact your extension agent for safe alternatives to pesticides.
Think before you pour household cleaners, paint or prescription medicine down the drain. It all ends up in the water.