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FYN Principle #9 - Protect The Waterfront


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FYN Principle #9:
Right Plant, Right Place

Rebecca McNair & Allison Steele
Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program

Published in: Technology
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FYN Principle #9 - Protect The Waterfront

  1. 1. On the Waterfront Types of Wetlands Problems Solutions Shoreline Protection Landscape Design Natives Invasive Plants Wetland Plants -Shore -Salt -Flood Maintenance Author: Rebecca McNair Edited by: Allison Steele
  2. 2. <ul><li>Florida is blessed with a large variety of aquatic resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2,276 miles tidal shoreline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>663 miles of coastal beaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 7,700 freshwater lakes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Living on the waterfront is a privilege and a responsibility </li></ul>
  3. 3. Types of Wetlands <ul><li>Fresh </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lakes, rivers, streams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depressional wetlands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retention ponds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ditches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Salt /Brackish </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coastal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intercoastal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Salt marsh </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Environmental Concerns <ul><li>Shoreline over-development </li></ul><ul><li>Aquatic weeds </li></ul><ul><li>Decline in fish & aquatic organisms </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Water clarity </li></ul><ul><li>Water quality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>According to the EPA, nutrient loading is the leading cause of impairment to Florida’s waterways </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Be Florida-Friendly <ul><li>Regardless of the type of waterfront property you own, you can help preserve Florida’s natural resources through: </li></ul><ul><li>Shoreline Protection </li></ul><ul><li>Landscape Design </li></ul><ul><li>Proper Maintenance </li></ul>
  6. 6. Shoreline Protection
  7. 7. Protect the Shoreline <ul><li>Vegetated slopes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buffer wave action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Absorb nutrients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevent erosion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attract wildlife </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Protect the Shoreline <ul><li>Limestone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buffers wave action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevents erosion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides shelter for wildlife </li></ul></ul>Native limestone placed along the shoreline offers a home to local wildlife.
  9. 9. Protect the Shoreline <ul><li>Shade trees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce soil compaction by intercepting rainfall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevent erosion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain water temperature </li></ul></ul>Thermal pollution (hot water) threatens the health of fish and other aquatic wildlife.
  10. 10. Waterfront Restrictions <ul><li>Permit required to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alter shoreline protection structures (seawalls) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prune or remove native vegetation </li></ul></ul>Seek expert advice to modify seawalls!
  11. 11. Landscape Design
  12. 12. <ul><li>Requiring little inputs of fertilizer, pesticides, and water </li></ul><ul><li>Filtering impurities from water before it reaches water bodies </li></ul>A carefully designed Florida Yard can be beautiful and environmentally friendly:
  13. 13. Select plants based on site conditions: <ul><li>Acid  alkaline- (test your soil’s pH) </li></ul><ul><li>Dry  moist </li></ul><ul><li>Full sun  shade </li></ul><ul><li>Heat  cold </li></ul><ul><li>Space </li></ul><ul><li>Obstructions </li></ul><ul><li>Salt </li></ul>
  14. 14. Reduce plant maintenance needs by selecting appropriate plant material… <ul><li>Choose low-maintenance & native plants with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Few pest problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low nutrient and water requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low weediness potential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flood tolerance </li></ul></ul>Coral Porterweed Stachytarpheta speciosa
  15. 15. … and planting in the right place <ul><li>Create a buffer of low-maintenance plants between the lawn and shore or seawall to absorb nutrients </li></ul>Apply no fertilizers or pesticides past the buffer zone
  16. 16. Definitions <ul><li>Native -a species occurring naturally in an environment or region </li></ul><ul><li>Endemic - Native to and restricted to a particular geographic region </li></ul><ul><li>Exotic —a species introduced to an area </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive exotic —an exotic that, not only has naturalized, but is expanding on its own </li></ul><ul><li>Not all exotic plants are invasive! </li></ul>
  17. 17. Appropriate Shoreline Plants Sea Oat Uniola paniculata (USDA Zone 7-11) The extensive root systems of Sea Oat holds sand particles in place.
  18. 18. Salt Tolerant Plants (USDA Zone 10B-11) Black Mangrove Avicennia germinans Blackrush (USDA Zone 7-11) Juncus roemerianus Sawgrass (USDA Zone 8-11) Cladium jamaicense
  19. 19. Salt Tolerant Plants Sea Oxeye Daisy (USDA Zone 10A-11) Borrichia frutescens Seashore Paspalum (USDA Zone 8) Paspalum vaginatum (Swartz) Cordgrass (USDA Zone 8-11) Spartina spp.
  20. 20. Flood Tolerant Plants Softstem Bullrush (USDA Zone 7-10) Scirpus tabernaemontani Wild Rice (USDA Zone 8-11) Zizaniopsis milacea Pickerelweed (USDA Zone 7-11) Pontederia cordata
  21. 21. Flood Tolerant Trees Cypress (USDA Zone 7-10B) Taxodium spp. Paurotis Palm (USDA Zone 9b-11) Acoelorrhaphe wrightii Pond Apple (USDA Zone 9b-11) Annona glabra
  22. 22. Invasive Exotics <ul><li>Many infamous invasive exotics are found in wetlands </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive exotics that are altering native plant communities by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>changing soil chemistry, plant community structure and ecological function </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>displacing native species </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hybridizing with natives </li></ul></ul>Hydrilla Hydrilla verticillata
  23. 23. Some Invasive Exotics Brazilian Pepper Schinus terebinthifolius Melaleuca Melaleuca quinquenervia Australian Pine Casuarina spp.
  24. 24. <ul><li>Remove invasive exotics by hand to protect native plants </li></ul>Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes Water Lettuce Pistia stratioites Chinese Tallow Sapium sebiferum
  25. 25. A low maintenance approach to landscaping can save time, money and precious natural resources. This may be achieved through proper: <ul><li>Watering </li></ul><ul><li>Fertilizing </li></ul><ul><li>Pest Management </li></ul><ul><li>Mowing, pruning, raking </li></ul><ul><li>Composting </li></ul><ul><li>Mulching </li></ul>
  26. 26. Fertilize Appropriately <ul><li>Excess fertilizers or fertilizers applied improperly may run off our yards into waterways or leach into groundwater. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the printed instructions carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Do not apply fertilizer or pesticides before a heavy rainstorm </li></ul>
  27. 27. Keep rain and sprinkler water onsite to prevent runoff from occurring. <ul><li>Use porous surfaces for walkways, patios and driveways </li></ul><ul><li>Use berms, swales and terracing </li></ul><ul><li>Direct downspouts toward beds or lawn </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Remove trash </li></ul><ul><li>Clean up oil spills and leaks with cat litter </li></ul><ul><li>Pick up after pets </li></ul><ul><li>Sweep grass clippings and soil back onto lawns </li></ul>Because water can wash off our yards, it is important to reduce the amount of pollutants on our property.
  29. 29. Landscapes bordering surface waters need to be maintained with special sensitivity to the environment. <ul><li>Establish a 10-30 ft “no fertilizer, no pesticide” zone along shoreline </li></ul>
  30. 30. Lawn Care <ul><li>Avoid mowing grasses along the shoreline </li></ul><ul><li>Keep grass clippings out of stormwater drainage systems </li></ul><ul><li>Mow lawns at the highest recommended height to encourage a deeper, more drought tolerant root system </li></ul>
  31. 31. Native wildflowers add color to a landscape, with very little maintenance.
  32. 32. A Florida Yard can be beautiful and environmentally friendly… It’s up to you!
  33. 33. Further Reading <ul><li>FE 207: Florida’s Water: Supply, Use and Public Policy </li></ul><ul><li>WEC 4: Introduction to Aquascaping </li></ul><ul><li>SL 143: How Contaminants Reach Groundwater </li></ul><ul><li>FRE 256: Handbook of Florida’s Water Regulations: Activities in Wetlands </li></ul>
  34. 34. Thanks for your attention! <ul><li>The following presentation was made possible through a grant from FL DEP and EPA. Special thanks to the following reviewers for their valued contributions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FL114 ELM Design Team and the FYN Subcommittee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, UF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agriculture Education and Communication Department </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental Horticulture Department </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entomology and Nematology Department </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soil and Water Sciences Department </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Florida Cooperative Extension Service in: Alachua, Broward, Clay, Hillsborough, Lake, Miami-Dade, Orange, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Volusia Counties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Florida Organics Recycling Center for Excellence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Center For Wetlands, UF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>United States Department of Agriculture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FL Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences: Division of Plant Industry </li></ul></ul>