First fertilizer ban put in place in South Florida with hopes of stopping chemicals leaking into Biscayne Bay, effective through Oct. 31

As the summer rainy season begins so will a fertilizer ban.

Several cities in South Florida are getting ready for new restrictions, as Miami-Dade County’s first fertilizer ban takes effect.

In an effort to protect one of South Florida’s most precious resources, Miami-Dade County leaders are enacting a fertilizer ban.

“Everybody can be part of the solution to improve the health of Biscayne Bay,” said Miami-Dade County Chief Bay Officer Irele Bague.

The county passed the strongest fertilizer ordinance in Florida by banning the use of nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers.

“Fertilizers containing phosphorus or nitrogen is not allowed in Miami-Dade County,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in an informational video.

“The whole goal of that is to protect Biscayne Bay from additional nutrient pollution,” said Bague.

The rainy months are when the chemicals are more likely to leak and make their way into the Bay. The county said the chemicals could be to blame for recent fish kills.

“Our waterways are especially at risk in the rainy summer months,” said Miami waterkeeper Rachel Silverstein.

The ban doesn’t include, golf courses, livestock grazing pastures or bonafied farm operations.

Joel Amores runs APACHE Pest Control, and he said he hopes businesses like his could start using alternative methods and get away from using synthetic fertilizers.

“You get a lot of people whether it be professional companies or homeowners, you know, they have this idea of dumping extra, extra fertilizer into their lawn,” said Amores. “Too much is something bad.”

Many homeowners who live near the water are all for the ban.

“I am totally in favor of it,” said homeowner Therese Day. “It seems really obvious to me.”

“There is many things that are natural that you can use too, you know, take that away,” said homeowner Charlie Ortiz, “and use that. It’s more natural for the environment.”

“People don’t realize that throwing chemicals actually effect our oceans and effect our very own environment, and we need to be cautious about it,” said homeowner Rodrigo Elias.

County leaders and residents who live along the bay believe the fertilizer ban is a step in the right direction.

“You allowed to have it be natural and not fed with chemicals that I wouldn’t put in my body,” said Day. “Why am I putting it in the fish’s body?”

The fertilizer ban goes into affect May 15 and continues through Oct. 31.