February 14, 2019
Are Fertilizer Ordinances Effective?
Dr. Leesa Souto and colleagues recently published a peer-review scientific journal article evaluating the effectiveness of residential fertilizer ordinances on Florida’s west coast. The study demonstrates that fertilizer ordinance education successfully changed homeowner behavior and reduced pollutant loads in the Tampa Bay Area.

The Pinellas County ordinance has a sales restriction that requires that fertilizer retail stores remove non-compliant products from the shelves during the summer season. They are the only Florida county to have the sales ban, because immediately thereafter, the state legislature pre-empted any other local ordinance from doing the same thing. As a result, Pinellas County has the strongest fertilizer ordinance in the state - and according to this research, the most effective!

Every county along the lagoon and nearly every city has adopted a strong residential turf-grass fertilizer ordinance. The lagoon ordinances include the following things, but they can not require that retail stores remove illegal products from the shelves:

1) No nitrogen (N) can be applied to the lawn during the rainy season from June 1 – September 30

2) When fertilizing with nitrogen outside the rainy season, you must apply at least 50% slow-release N. For a list of compliant fertilizer products click here.

3) Do not apply phosphorus to the lawn, unless a soil test confirms the need for it. 

4) Do not apply any fertilizer within 10’ of a water body. The set-back distance varies by city or county, so check your local ordinance here.

Click here to read more.

Click here to view the complete research article, Forging linkages between social drivers and ecological processes in the residential landscape .
Straight Talk: Sewage Systems, Septics and Muck in Our Lagoon
FIT Gleason Performing Arts Center. 
Tuesday, February 26
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Interested in the many projects underway to restore and protect our lagoon? Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition has assembled a forum intended to provide an overview of the current and planned projects and to provide answers to the concerned public.

Speakers include: 

Brevard County Commissioner Bryan Lober
Dr. Robert Weaver, Florida Institute of Technology
Virginia Barker, Brevard County Natural Resources
Duane DeFreese, Indian River National Estuaries Program
Marilyn Waters, Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition
Say No to Plastic Straws!
Are you aware that Senator Hutson and Representatives Sabatini and Fine have filed legislation to undo the local straw ordinances by pre-empting straw legislation to the state? This would take away local control of the issues that impact our communities and our beaches and authorize food service establishments to distribute single-use plastic straws to customers upon request as well as to make single-use plastic straws available through self-serve straw dispensers.

The following are sponsors/co-sponsors of the bills: Sen. Hutson, Sen. Bradley, Rep. Sabatini, Rep. Fine, Rep. Hill, Rep. McClure, and Rep. Roach. Contact the bill sponsors and politely let them know you oppose preemption of local straw ordinances:

Rep. Sabatini 850-717-5032
Rep. Fine 850-717-5053
Sen. Hutson 850-487-5007 

Also, keep on eye out for a vote so we can mobilize against it!

FWC's Aquatic Herbicide Comment Period Now Open
Throughout Florida, FWC is temporarily pausing it's aquatic herbicide treatment program. They will hold several public meetings and are collecting public comments regarding the program to gather community input about the program. Comments can be sent to  Invasiveplants@MyFWC.com .

Click here to see an example letter in support of more sustainable control methods of aquatic invasive species.

Click here to view the press release.
Attention City of Melbourne Residents!
The City of Melbourne is offering a limited rain barrel rebate program. Melbourne water customers can apply for the $50 rebate after purchasing and installing a rain barrel that holds at least 40 gallons of water. These rebates are offered as an incentive to conserve water and reduce stormwater runoff. One rebate is allowed per customer until funds are depleted or until September 30, 2019, whichever occurs first.

Click here to learn more about the City of Melbourne's rain barrel rebate program.

Don't have a rain barrel? Build your own at our next workshop at the Melbourne Botanical Festival on March 2nd! We will have one workshop at 11 am and another at 1 pm. The Festival will be located at 1900 S Harbor City Blvd, Melbourne, FL 32901. Click the button below to register.
Landscaping Practices for a Healthy IRL!
March 5, 2019
12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Join us for our March Brown Bag presentation with Sally Scalera, Urban Horticulture Agent and Master Gardener Coordinator at the Brevard County UF/IFAS Extension office. Learn how to create healthy soil to alleviate stormwater runoff and the leaching of nutrients, resulting in both healthy plants and a healthy IRL! Click the button below to register.
Upcoming Events
Visit us at www.SaveTheIRL.org