Water-Related News

SJRWMD Board approves funding for five Lake County ag cost-share projects

Board approves ranking of agricultural projects that conserve water, reduce nutrients

COCOA — Fifteen agricultural projects will share in cost-share funds from two different funding programs of the St. Johns River Water Management District to assist farmers and growers on projects that conserve water and reduce nutrient loading to area waterways.

“Since the Districtwide Agricultural Cost-Share Program began in July 2015, we have funded 103 partnership projects to help farmers and growers conserve water and reduce nutrient loads,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Governing Board approved the following eight projects to receive Districtwide Agricultural Cost-Share Program funds this cycle:

  • Long and Scott Farms Inc., for irrigation conversion
  • Cherrylake Inc., for irrigation retrofit
  • Twin Lakes-Cherrylake Partnership LLC, for pump automation
  • Summer Lake-Grace Grover Partnership, for pump automation
  • Lennon & Wilson, for pump automation

Including three other projects in Alachua, Marion, and Putnam Counties, these projects are estimated to collectively conserve 57 million gallons of water a year and reduce total nitrogen by 6,614 pounds and total phosphorus by 761 pounds per year. Since 2012 the District has funded more than 225 agricultural cost-share projects.

Lake County reminds citizens of summer fertilizer blackout period

Lake County reminds citizens to use only slow release fertilizer this spring

TAVARES – Lake County’s fertilizer ordinance is intended to help reduce nutrient-loading in urban landscapes by adding application restrictions while utilizing Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM principles. The ordinance, recommended by the Keep Lake Beautiful Committee and approved by the Board of County Commissioners in 2017, includes a summer time phosphorous and nitrogen application prohibition.

Residents living in the unincorporated areas of the county who intend to fertilize their yard are reminded to do as soon as possible when turfgrass roots have recovered from winter dormancy and before the start of the summer fertilizer application ban on June 1.

The ordinance prohibits applying fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus to turf or landscaping between June 1 and Sept. 30. The ordinance also requires that fertilizers contain a minimum 50 percent slow-release nitrogen content and prohibits fertilizer from being applied within 15 feet of waterbodies.

This ordinance was implemented as nutrient impairment of waterbodies and springs has become a major concern throughout the state and in Lake County. Excess nutrients change the ecological balance of a waterbody and cause water quality issues including persistent algae blooms.

More than half of Florida’s counties have adopted a fertilizer ordinance, including neighboring counties Marion, Orange, Volusia and Seminole.

For more information, check out the Lake County's Fertilizer Ordinance webpage at www.lakecountyfl.gov/fertilizer. For additional information regarding the Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Program, contact the Lake County UF/IFAS Extension office at 352-343-4101 or visit http://bit.ly/UFFertilizer.