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Indian River Neighborhood Association: Help Save the Lagoon - Don't Use Fertilizer From June 1 Through September 30

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Indian River County - Monday May 20, 2024: The Indian River Neighborhood Association has issued notice to remind residents that the summer fertilizer ban takes effect June 1 and remains in effect through September 30.

This period aligns with our rainy season, when fertilizers are more likely to wash into stormwater systems and ultimately into the Indian River Lagoon. These excess nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, fuel toxic algae blooms, harming marine life and human health.

The ban applies only to those Indian River County residents who live near the Lagoon in Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid. They are required to comply with the local fertilizer ban.

Key Guidelines:

1. No Phosphorus: Never use fertilizer containing phosphorus. Did you know most soils in IRC already contain adequate levels of phosphorus for healthy plant growth? Adding more phosphorus can lead to waste, which plants cannot utilize.

2. Slow-Release Nitrogen: Ensure fertilizers contain at least 50% slow-release nitrogen. Excess nitrogen from fertilizers can run off into water bodies, causing algal blooms that deplete oxygen and harm marine life.

3. Reuse Water: If using reuse water for irrigation, additional fertilizer is unnecessary due to the nutrients already present.

4. Buffer Zones: Avoid applying fertilizer within 10 feet of any wetland or water body.

5. Grass Clippings: Do not blow clippings into storm drains, canals, the lagoon, or onto roadways. This contributes to nutrient pollution, fueling harmful algal blooms that deplete oxygen in water and harm marine life.

Take Action:

1. Educate Your Lawn Care Provider: Discuss these regulations with them.

2. Check Compliance: For details on the ordinance and fertilizing tips, visit the County's Website or email Alexis Peralta, Stormwater Educator and Fertilizer Enforcement Officer, at

3. Report Violators: Help enforce the ordinance by reporting any violations you observe.