City of Miami Beach Fertilizer Ordinance
Over 100 municipalities and counties in Florida have successfully passed strong ordinances that limit fertilizer use. Building on this record, the City of Miami Beach is proud to be leading the state with the new gold standard that limits fertilizer use, requires regular reporting, and establishes low-impact landscape design standards.
As a homeowner, property manager, or landscaping professional, members of the community can help protect Biscayne Bay by following the guidelines and restrictions listed on the fertilizer ordinance adopted in January 2021. The ordinance takes into account best-management practices and establishes critical restrictions to minimize negative and cumulative environmental effects associated with the misuse of fertilizers. These guidelines include:
- Prohibiting fertilizer application from June 1 through November 1 (accounting for rainy season and king tides).
- Prohibiting fertilizer application in fertilizer-free zones of 20 feet adjacent to waterways and storm drains.
- Recommending low maintenance zones of 10 feet adjacent to waterways and storm drains.
- Establishing proper fertilizer application rates and methods outside of the prohibited application period.
- Requiring that grass clippings and other vegetative matter be kept away from storm drains and waterways.
- Establishing minimum Florida-Friendly Landscaping and Low-Impact Design requirements for new golf courses and parks.
- Requiring proper training of commercial and institutional fertilizer applicators.
- Establishing the Miami Beach Biscayne Bay Protection Fund dedicated to water conservation, nonpoint pollution prevention activities, water quality improvements, and marine and coastal ecosystems enhancements.
- Establishing enforcement and penalties.
To supplement these efforts, the City of Miami Beach has partnered with several regional partners, including the Miami Water Keeper, Ocean Conservancy, Sierra Club, and is proud to join the elite group of partners within Be Floridian Now. Miami Beach is collaborating with the Miami Water Keeper on the “1,000 Eyes on the Water” training program to engage with community members. This program is a targeted education effort designed to train participants in how to identify, document, and report pollution on our waterways. The training provides an opportunity for community members to learn about water quality issues facing Biscayne Bay as well as methods of reducing pollution. Participants learn to identify environmental and code compliance issues such as: algae blooms, sedimentation, leaking dumpsters, rare and endangered species like small tooth sawfish, illegal dumping, oil slicks, and fish kills. Due to COVID-19, the Miami Waterkeeper team will host live virtual workshops as an expansion of this program on Miami Beach, targeting residents, students, municipal workers, code officers, and property managers.
More information on this workshop can be found here: https://www.miamiwaterkeeper.org/1000eyes.