Before Florida became a state in 1845, 20.3 million acres of its land was covered with wetlands. More than half of these natural water filters are lost today due to housing development and agriculture. They’ve been partially replaced with inferior retention ponds.
The purpose of these artificial wetlands is to filter stormwater before it runs into the Indian River Lagoon. This method hasn’t prevented the wholesale loss of sea grass and the starvation of more than 900 manatees in just one year because they are mostly poorly designed. You can help! Replace your sod around the pond with native plants to mimic a natural wetland. Native plants create habitat for wildlife, filter water and do not require fertilizer or pesticides that pollute our waterways.
Learn more about Florida and how to reestablish nature in our state by becoming a member of the Environmental Learning Center!