Water quality now,

and for future generations

Floridians for Water Quality Protection is made up of scientists and academics, local businesses, green industry professionals and community leaders, who are all concerned about protecting Florida’s water quality, now and for future generations.

The Problem

Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post, via Associated Press
Tyler Treadway/TCPalm

Local fertilizer ordinances across the State of Florida have created confusion and conflict that do more harm than good. This conflicting patchwork of local and largely unenforced ordinances are essentially helping to destroy Florida’s waterways and kill wildlife. Even worse, this is happening at a time when the state is looking for solutions to solve our water quality problems.

As a whole, leaving fertilizer regulation to local governments is not working. We need our state lawmakers to step in and lead us on this issue. We need their help in resolving this crisis.

“Grass systems are the best bio filters known to

Bryan Unruh, Professor at the University of Florida

The Facts

  • Florida has 410 cities with their own rules and regulations or nothing at all when it comes to local fertilizer ordinances.

  • Some of these local ordinances go against proven science and independent, third-party 
data, as well as against what’s in Florida statute.

  • They are a distraction from the acknowledged contributions of septic tanks and failed sanitary and stormwater systems, which are considered largely responsible for nutrient loading and algae blooms.

  • In fact, state agencies charged with environmental protection and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences have spoken against misguided fertilizer ordinances and bans because they do not address these root causes and, while sounding good, actually have the potential to do more harm to our waterways.

  • Decades of science and history have established that healthy lawns and landscapes act as some of the most efficient filters on the planet and support the well-being of our environment.

  • While there are many things local governments should manage, the reality is the vast majority of municipalities lack the human, financial and scientific resources to properly regulate fertilizer and chemical products. 

  • This is why Florida is one of 43 states who have pesticide preemption, or the state claiming sole authority of the application and use of pesticide products.

  • 30 states now have developed one state standard or preemption on fertilizer, and it is time Florida joins them.

What's working: Consistent Ordinances

The Indian River Lagoon has largely one consistent rule across a single water body, which has led 
to improved water quality in the area.