To better understand stormwater runoff, you should first imagine Florida before man appeared. When
rain occurred, it would fall on the existing vegetation and then soak into the soils below. Grasses and
leaf litter would slow or stop particularly heavy flow from causing extensive erosion. As man appeared
and began to remove or alter vegetation, the rain would no longer be managed through natural means.
Initially the impacts were not noticeable, but over time erosion began to send sediments into our water-
The building of structures and roads created a new problem. The buildings no longer allowed the
reach the ground below. In most cases the buildup of water was unwanted so drainage was
direct the runoff into rivers, lakes, swamps, or sinkholes. Stormwater has been identified as
conveyor of pollutants including litter, oils, fertilizers, pesticides and bacteria.
Over the past twenty years, considerable attention has been focused on managing stormwater to
From Citrus County Environmental Guide
prevent pollution of our surface and ground waters. Current regulations require new roadways and
developments to adequately hold and treat stormwater, but many existing developments and especially
older subdivisions such as those on our coasts, lakes, and rivers still directly discharge stormwater
into our surface waters.
Florida's aquatic ecosystems are being invaded by a host of unwanted plants originating from "exotic"
places. Plants not originating in Florida are often called non-indigenous, exotic, non-native, or alien
species. But whatever the name, hundreds of these species are established in Florida and have rapidly
disrupted our pristine ecosystems by choking out our native plants. Native plants provide food and habitat
for Florida's wildlife. As individuals, there are several actions that we can take to reduce the threat of
non-native plants to our ecosystem as well as promote the successful growth of native plants.
Remove invasive exotic plants from the shoreline.
Replant with native aquatic vegetation.
Establish a 10-30 foot wide no fertilizer, no pesticide zone along the shoreline.
Plant a border of native plants between your lawn and shoreline to absorb nutrients and provide
Remove all plant material from boat trailers when leaving a river. Hundreds of new infestations
have occurred from transport of plants on trailers.
Always Seek proper guidelines and permits before removing aquatic vegetation.
Call the DEP at (352) 726-8622 .