Lakefront and Aquatic Landscaping

Protecting the waterfront is Principle #9 in Florida-Friendly Landscaping. Waterfront areas can include lakefronts, ponds, ditches, other water bodies and environmentally sensitive areas. So, what makes a nice aquatic landscape?
• Full of native plants
• Managed nuisance vegetation
• Provides access for recreation
• Aesthetically pleasing

Protecting the shoreline from erosion, plants stabilize sediment and makes the water body cleaner and clearer. Aquatic plants filter pollutants, uptake nutrients. They also provide habitat for fish, birds, and invertebrate species. Shoreline plants help to:
• Slow runoff
• Catch sediment
• Capture nutrients
• Provide wildlife habitat
• Protect water quality

Water lily, Nymphea odorata, is one of many beneficial Florida native plants. Photo: UF/IFAS

How to get started:
First, check the rules and get permits from your local municipality. Decide if you want a clearing for an access area for your boat. Create a planting plan diagram on paper listing the spacing and plant species. Spray with herbicide or remove nonnative nuisance plants by hand. Usually, aquatic professionals are hired if chemicals are used because only certain aquatic approved herbicides may be used.

This diagram shows an access area on a lakefront with clusters of aquatic plants. Photo credit: FWC


Maintain your site with Lake-Friendly Landscaping practices:
Select low maintenance Florida native and Florida-Friendly plants. Use phosphorus free fertilizer and slow-release nitrogen as both of these nutrients are harmful to water bodies. Maintain a 15’ buffer with no fertilizer or pesticides adjacent to the water body. Conserve water as overirrigation can leach nutrients into water bodies. Divert downspouts into turf and landscape areas, not the water body.

A properly planted lakefront should contain at least 80% coverage of beneficial plants. Photo: Tia Silvasy, UF/IFAS


Resources
A Stewardship Guide for Orange County Lakefront Homeowners
https://orange.wateratlas.usf.edu/upload/documents/Lakefront_Homeowners_Guide_Rev11-2018.pdf

Florida DEP Bureau of Aquatic Plant Management
https://myfwc.com/license/aquatic-plants/

Orange County EPD
https://www.orangecountyfl.net/Environment.aspx

St. Johns Water Management District
https://www.sjrwmd.com

South Florida Water Management District
https://www.sfwmd.gov

UF/IFAS Lakewatch Program
www.lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu

Learn about your lake on the Water Atlas
www.orange.wateratlas.usf.edu

Orange County Lakeshore and Wetland Impact Permits
www.orangecountyfl.net

Seminole County Permits https://www.seminolecountyfl.gov/departments-services/development-services/building/

List of Florida Native Aquatic Plants Fact Sheet (printable)
 
View Orange County applications under review or permits that have been pulled
www.fasttrack.ocfl.net

Invasive Species Reporting
www.invastivespeciesinfo.gov

FWC:Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
www.myfwc.com

Want to learn more?  Check out horticulture classes offered by UF/IFAS Extension Orange County at www.ocextension.eventbrite.com.  Read about Florida-Friendly Landscaping™  https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/. Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GardenFlorida/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/oc_extension/ and visit our website https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/orange/home-lawns-landscapes-and-gardens/florida-friendly-landscaping/.

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Posted: February 15, 2022


Category: Agriculture, Conservation, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Fruits & Vegetables, Home Landscapes, Invasive Species, Lawn, Natural Resources, Pests & Disease, UF/IFAS Extension, Water, Wildlife, Work & Life
Tags: Aquatic, Central Florida, Ditch, Florida Friendly, Invasive Plants, Lake, Lakefront, Landscape, Ocextension, Plants, Pond, Waterfront, Wildlife


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