Robust long-term monitoring and modeling programs that take into account surface and subsurface runoff, stream flows, and organic and inorganic nitrogen concentrations are essential for accurately estimating and managing nutrients in watersheds.
Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) can capture and treat nutrient-laden runoff before discharge to water bodies, some with greater efficiency than others.
Florida’s current stormwater regulations were adopted in the 1980s, and research has shown that conventional stormwater treatments do not meet nutrient removal standards.
Stormwater ponds and canals must be maintained to retain their nutrient removal efficiency, yet are generally lacking in long-term maintenance. Local ordinances would provide a mechanism for outreach, inspection and certification to ensure that stormwater ponds and canals are managed and maintained to maximize nutrient removal.
7.1 Develop and distribute a homeowner guide for home and neighborhood stormwater improvement projects
A comprehensive guide to Best Management Practices for individual homeowners and neighborhoods would provide a “one-stop shop” of tools and information to advance community involvement in reducing nutrient pollution.
7.2 Increase support and capacity for homeowners and HOAs to install stormwater improvement projects with free professional consultations and cost-share grants
Free professional consultations, financial assistance, and replicable demonstrations of successful pond management, Florida-adapted landscaping or green infrastructure elements
7.3 Support recognition or leadership programs for homeowners, HOAs, and businesses adopting, funding, and promoting green infrastructure improvements
Recognition programs can motivate and engage citizens to protect their local waters, and drive community momemtum for positive change.
7.4 Support and promote green infrastructure demonstration projects on publicly accessible properties with interpretive signage and self-guided tours
Visibility and awareness of successful green infrastructure projects can be increased through interpretive signage, demonstration sites, and guided or self-guided tours at publicly accessible places such as parks, government buildings, botanical gardens and museums.
8.1 Restore and enhance wetland and shoreline habitats to increase nutrient uptake and storage by plants
Protecting, restoring and enhancing wetlands and shorelines is among the most cost-effective nutrient reduction and climate mitigation tools available to communities.
8.2 Enhance fish and wildlife populations to increase nutrient uptake and biomass storage by animals
Restoration of fish and wildlife through stocking programs and habitat creation or protection can directly and indirectly contribute to nutrient removal while providing other ecosystem benefits.
Conserving natural lands promotes natural cycling of nutrients through ecosystems, while providing a host of other community benefits. Currently, about 30% of Sarasota County lands have been protected by acquisition or conservation easement.
Trees intercept and promote percolation of rainfall, reducing runoff. Policies that protect mature native trees, and encourage and incentivize tree plantings on both private and public property,