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Household Tips for Protecting Manatees

AVOID FERTILIZER USE ON YOUR LAWN AND LANDSCAPE

Excess fertilizer presents a hazard to our waterways and in turn, our manatees. Fertilizer that is not taken up by plants runs off your property and into our waterways, creating algal blooms that kill seagrasses and harm manatees. Most established landscapes do not need fertilizer at all. If you suspect your lawn needs to be fertilized, get a soil test first. Your local Extension office can help.

CONSERVE WATER

Did you know that more than half of our monthly water use is from irrigation and that many lawn issues (such as dollar weed and grass fungus) are caused by overwatering? Save your lawn and your money by cutting down on irrigation. Install a rain sensor or watch the weather and only turn on your system on when needed.

KEEP GRASS AND YARD DEBRIS OUT OF WATERWAYS, SWALES AND STREETS

Grass clippings contain nitrogen and phosphorus that can contribute to algal blooms in a similar way to fertilizers. Instead, keep them on your lawn and recycle those nutrients back into your soil.

FOLLOW FLORIDA-FRIENDLY LANDSCAPING PRACTICES WHEREVER POSSIBLE

Florida Yards and Neighborhoods is a program aimed at helping Floridians have beautiful lawns while still protecting our waterways. It is based on 9 principles that can be used on any yard, large or small. See how they can be used in yours.