Common Sea Fans (<em>Gorgonia ventilina</em>) are one of several species of sea fans found in southeast Florida. Sea fans are also classified as soft corals or gorgonians.

Common Sea Fans (Gorgonia ventilina) are one of several species of sea fans found in southeast Florida. Sea fans are also classified as soft corals or gorgonians.

Photo: Chantal Collier

Juvenile bluehead wrasses swim along the reef in Palm Beach.

Juvenile bluehead wrasses swim along the reef in Palm Beach.

Photo: Joe Marino

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Southeast Florida Reef News

New Fertilizer and Pesticide Brochure Available

By Troy Craig
Associate Coordinator

Macroalgae overgrowing a coral reef in southeast Florida. Photo: Steve Spring
Macroalgae overgrowing a coral reef in southeast Florida. Photo: Steve Spring

In Florida, everything that goes into the ground has the potential of finding its way into our waterways and aquifer as nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. NPS pollution, unlike pollution from readily identifiable point sources such as industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many diverse sources. Rainfall and excessive irrigation can carry potential pollutants from many sources into our waterways and aquifer. Nutrients from lawn fertilizers can become NPS pollution if they are not used and applied properly. Some of this will runoff through rainwater and end up in our lakes, rivers, canals, and lagoons; eventually, many of them find their way to the ocean where they can harm the marine environment and our coral reef ecosystem.

 The Florida Department of Environmental Protection Coral Reef Conservation Program has created educational material for the Land Based Sources of Pollution focus area. This material includes a fertilizer and pesticide brochure full of helpful tips on how to correctly apply these applications and offers less harmful alternatives to make your yard safer for your family and friends. A second brochure will be developed in coming months to address watershed practices to help reduce land based sources of pollution that can make their way from hundreds of miles away into our bays and oceans. These resources will be distributed throughout the SEFCRI region in nurseries, garden centers, and botanical gardens near you.



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