On the waterfront
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Types of Wetlands Problems Solutions Shoreline Protection Landscape Design Natives Invasive Plants Wetland Plants -Shore -Salt -Flood Maintenance. On the Waterfront. Author: Rebecca McNair Edited by: Allison Steele.

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On the waterfront

Types of Wetlands



Shoreline Protection

Landscape Design


Invasive Plants

Wetland Plants





On the Waterfront

Author: Rebecca McNair

Edited by: Allison Steele

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Florida is blessed with a large variety of aquatic resources

2,276 miles tidal shoreline

663 miles of coastal beaches

Over 7,700 freshwater lakes

Living on the waterfront is a privilege and a responsibility

Types of wetlands
Types of Wetlands

  • Fresh

    • Lakes, rivers, streams

    • Depressional wetlands

    • Retention ponds

    • Ditches

  • Salt /Brackish

    • Coastal

    • Intercoastal

    • Salt marsh

Environmental concerns
Environmental Concerns

  • Shoreline over-development

  • Aquatic weeds

  • Decline in fish & aquatic organisms

  • Loss of habitat

  • Water clarity

  • Water quality

    • According to the EPA, nutrient loading is the leading cause of impairment to Florida’s waterways

Be florida friendly
Be Florida-Friendly

Regardless of the type of waterfront property you own, you can help preserve Florida’s natural resources through:

  • Shoreline Protection

  • Landscape Design

  • Proper Maintenance

Protect the shoreline
Protect the Shoreline

  • Vegetated slopes

    • Buffer wave action

    • Absorb nutrients

    • Prevent erosion

    • Attract wildlife

Protect the shoreline1
Protect the Shoreline

  • Limestone

    • Buffers wave action

    • Prevents erosion

    • Provides shelter for wildlife

Native limestone placed along the shoreline offers a home to local wildlife.

Protect the shoreline2
Protect the Shoreline

  • Shade trees

    • Reduce soil compaction by intercepting rainfall

    • Prevent erosion

    • Maintain water temperature

Thermal pollution (hot water) threatens the health of fish and other aquatic wildlife.

Waterfront restrictions
Waterfront Restrictions

  • Permit required to:

    • Alter shoreline protection structures (seawalls)

    • Prune or remove native vegetation

Seek expert advice to modify seawalls!

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A carefully designed Florida Yard can be beautiful and environmentally friendly:

  • Requiring little inputs of fertilizer, pesticides, and water

  • Filtering impurities from water before it reaches water bodies

Select plants based on site conditions
Select plants based on site conditions: environmentally friendly:

  • Acid  alkaline- (test your soil’s pH)

  • Dry  moist

  • Full sun  shade

  • Heat  cold

  • Space

  • Obstructions

  • Salt

Reduce plant maintenance needs by selecting appropriate plant material
Reduce plant maintenance needs by selecting appropriate plant material…

  • Choose low-maintenance & native plants with:

    • Few pest problems

    • Low nutrient and water requirements

    • Low weediness potential

    • Flood tolerance

Coral Porterweed Stachytarpheta speciosa

And planting in the right place
…and planting in the right place plant material…

  • Create a buffer of low-maintenance plants between the lawn and shore or seawall to absorb nutrients

Apply no fertilizers or pesticides past the buffer zone

Definitions plant material…

  • Native-a species occurring naturally in an environment or region

  • Endemic- Native to and restricted to a particular geographic region

  • Exotic—a species introduced to an area

  • Invasive exotic—an exotic that, not only has naturalized, but is expanding on its own

  • Not all exotic plants are invasive!

Appropriate shoreline plants
Appropriate Shoreline Plants plant material…

The extensive root systems of Sea Oat holds sand particles in place.

Sea Oat Uniola paniculata

(USDA Zone 7-11)

Salt tolerant plants
Salt Tolerant Plants plant material…

Blackrush (USDA Zone 7-11)Juncus roemerianus

(USDA Zone 10B-11)

Black MangroveAvicennia germinans

Sawgrass (USDA Zone 8-11)Cladium jamaicense

Salt tolerant plants1
Salt Tolerant Plants plant material…

Sea Oxeye Daisy(USDA Zone 10A-11)Borrichia frutescens

Cordgrass(USDA Zone 8-11)Spartina spp.

Seashore Paspalum(USDA Zone 8) Paspalum vaginatum (Swartz)

Flood tolerant plants
Flood Tolerant Plants plant material…

Softstem Bullrush(USDA Zone 7-10) Scirpus tabernaemontani

Wild Rice(USDA Zone 8-11)Zizaniopsis milacea

Pickerelweed (USDA Zone 7-11)Pontederia cordata

Flood tolerant trees
Flood Tolerant Trees plant material…

Pond Apple (USDA Zone 9b-11)Annona glabra

Paurotis Palm (USDA Zone 9b-11)Acoelorrhaphe wrightii

Cypress (USDA Zone 7-10B)Taxodium spp.

Invasive exotics
Invasive plant material… Exotics

  • Many infamous invasive exotics are found in wetlands

  • Invasive exotics that are altering native plant communities by:

    • changing soil chemistry, plant community structure and ecological function

    • displacing native species

    • hybridizing with natives

Hydrilla Hydrilla verticillata

Some invasive exotics

Australian Pine plant material…

Casuarina spp.

Some Invasive Exotics

Brazilian Pepper Schinus terebinthifolius

Melaleuca Melaleuca quinquenervia

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Remove invasive exotics by hand to protect native plants plant material…

Chinese TallowSapium sebiferum

Water LettucePistia stratioites

Water HyacinthEichhornia crassipes

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A low maintenance approach to landscaping can save time, money and precious natural resources. This may be achieved through proper:

  • Watering

  • Fertilizing

  • Pest Management

  • Mowing, pruning, raking

  • Composting

  • Mulching

Fertilize appropriately
Fertilize Appropriately money and precious natural resources. This may be achieved through proper:

Excess fertilizers or fertilizers applied improperly may run off our yards into waterways or leach into groundwater.

  • Follow the printed instructions carefully

  • Do not apply fertilizer or pesticides before a heavy rainstorm

Keep rain and sprinkler water onsite to prevent runoff from occurring
Keep rain and sprinkler water onsite to prevent runoff from occurring.

  • Use porous surfaces for walkways, patios and driveways

  • Use berms, swales and terracing

  • Direct downspouts toward beds or lawn

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Remove trash occurring.

Clean up oil spills and leaks with cat litter

Pick up after pets

Sweep grass clippings and soil back onto lawns

Because water can wash off our yards, it is important to reduce the amount of pollutants on our property.

On the waterfront 1341775
Landscapes bordering surface waters need to be maintained with special sensitivity to the environment.

  • Establish a 10-30 ft “no fertilizer, no pesticide” zone along shoreline

Lawn care
Lawn Care with special sensitivity to the environment.

  • Avoid mowing grasses along the shoreline

  • Keep grass clippings out of stormwater drainage systems

  • Mow lawns at the highest recommended height to encourage a deeper, more drought tolerant root system

A florida yard can be beautiful and environmentally friendly it s up to you
A Florida Yard can be beautiful little maintenance.and environmentally friendly… It’s up to you!

Further reading http edis ifas ufl edu
Further Reading little maintenance.http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu

FE 207: Florida’s Water: Supply, Use and Public Policy

WEC 4: Introduction to Aquascaping

SL 143: How Contaminants Reach Groundwater

FRE 256: Handbook of Florida’s Water Regulations: Activities in Wetlands

Thanks for your attention
Thanks for your attention! little maintenance.

The following presentation was made possible through a grant from FL DEP and EPA. Special thanks to the following reviewers for their valued contributions:

FL114 ELM Design Team and the FYN Subcommittee

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, UF

Agriculture Education and Communication Department

Environmental Horticulture Department

Entomology and Nematology Department

Soil and Water Sciences Department

Florida Cooperative Extension Service in: Alachua, Broward, Clay, Hillsborough, Lake, Miami-Dade, Orange, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Volusia Counties

Florida Organics Recycling Center for Excellence

The Center For Wetlands, UF

United States Department of Agriculture

FL Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences: Division of Plant Industry