The City of Titusville, Florida / Public Works / Stormwater Utility / IRL Stormwater Projects / Littoral Zone PlantingsLittoral Zone Plantings
Littoral Zone Plantings
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection awarded the City grant funding to establish littoral zone vegetation within three existing stormwater ponds. Shoreline plantings provide an important buffer between upland landscapes and waterbodies by taking up excess phosphorus and nitrogen originating from fertilizers, pet waste, and yard debris, as well as other pollutants carried by stormwater runoff. This project will help provide required nutrient removals regulated by the Indian River Lagoon Basin Management Action Plan. Funding came from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program Grant.
What is a littoral zone?
The littoral zone is the area near the shoreline where sunlight penetrates all the way to the bottom and allows aquatic plants to grow. Littoral zones are present in both fresh and saltwater environments.
Why is a littoral zone so important?
Stormwater ponds capture the stormwater runoff from the surrounding area, along with many of the pollutants like excess nutrients found in fertilizers, pet waste, and yard debris. Aquatic plants in the littoral zone can improve water quality by removing excess nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen from stormwater runoff. The plants then use these nutrients to grow and remain healthy. This can help improve water clarity and prevent algal blooms. These native plants also stabilize the banks to prevent erosion and provide habitat for wildlife.
How can shoreline buffers help our receiving waters like the Indian River Lagoon?
Excess nutrients entering the Indian River Lagoon have been attributed to a reduction in the amount of seagrass in the lagoon. Seagrasses are essential to the lagoon and serve as the primary indicator of the lagoon’s overall health. Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms and aquatic weed growth which can block needed sunlight from the water and rob the water of oxygen, killing plants, fish, wildlife and may even trigger human health concerns. By removing some of these nutrients upstream, prior to the runoff leaving the pond, those pollutants will never enter the Lagoon. Littoral zone and shoreline buffers can be an effective means of filtering out pollutants around many types of waterbodies including, lakes, rivers, canals, ditches and ponds.
Planting native Florida plants and using Florida Friendly landscapes help protect Florida's unique natural resources by conserving water, reducing waste and pollution, creating wildlife habitat and preventing erosion.