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Calusa Garden Club Enviornment Report April 2, 2019


Water Quality

Red tide:       

            Water samples taken on March 26, 2019, along the Florida coast from Marco Island’s South Marco Beach up to Barefoot Beach revealed no evidence of red tide.


UF Water Quality Webinar:

            On March 29, 2019, a water quality Webinar was held by University of          Florida Professors explaining what tests/methodology could be    implemented to determine Marco Island’s water quality as well as the Island’s environmental effects on the water.  To be informed, visit


This is not a live link.  If you want a live link, email me and I will forward it to you. 


South Florida Water Management District


            Councilor (and Calusa Garden Club Member) Charlette Roman is a member            of the newly appointed Board for the South Florida Water Management        District.  Their first meeting was held on March 14, 2019 and can be viewed on  I recommend all CGC members visit this site to be            informed and appreciate the complex issues the Board must address in             protecting our water. 



            Plastic bags and beverage bottles litter our streets, highways and water.  This    also negatively impacts our wildlife.  Use canvas bags and use personal    hot/cold drinking containers (such as Yeti). 

 Fertilizing Landscape

            The main rules for applying fertilizer on Marco Island are:

  • Do not apply fertilizer during the rainy season (June 1 – September 30) or when a weather event is predicted that will include heavy rainfall.
  • Do not apply fertilizer to impervious surfaces (concrete, asphalt, pavers, etc.) or within 10 feet of a watercourse, lake, wetland or storm drain.  Always use a spreader deflector shield when fertilizing.
  • Do not apply phosphorus fertilizer unless a soil test has determined there is a deficiency of phosphorus.
  • Fertilizers must contain no less than 50% slow release nitrogen.
  • Fertilizer may only be applied four times per year and no more than four pounds of nitrogen may be applied per 1000 square feet per year.



Bald eagles

            The adult eagles and two eaglets at the Marco Island Nature Preserve are           doing well.  The eaglets have not moved out of the nest on to the branches yet.    Numerous photographers and interested people visit daily in front of       male eagle this spring. 

            Bald Eagles are a federally and state protected species.  The nest tree is      protected by a 330’ to 660’ protective buffer zone.    Violation of the buffer    zone during nesting season or disturbing or causing harm to the eagles can            result in fines and/or jail sentence. 

City of Marco Island Protected Species Ordinance effective January 2019.

Burrowing Owls

Protection zone requirements now match the setback guidelines established by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for specific activities within the vicinity of Burrowing Owl burrows:

  • 10-foot buffer in all directions around the entrance of Burrowing Owl burrows during the non-breeding season (July 11 through February 14).
  • 33-foot buffer in all directions around the entrance of Burrowing Owl burrows during the breeding season (February 15 through July 10).

Permits can be obtained for filling in a borrow during off season months . contact the City for more information. 


Burrowing Owls & Gopher Tortoises 

For sites where a listed species is found, a protection zone, consisting of silt fencing, must be erected prior to construction activities, and should be installed around two to three sides of each affected burrow, leaving one or two sides open for species ingress and egress. All protection zone enclosures must be removed upon work completion.

Protection zones can only be entered by an Authorized or Registered Agent, property owner, FWC, and trained City or Audubon staff, volunteers or consultants.

To prevent unnecessary disturbance, take or burrow collapse, operation and parking of any vehicles or equipment is prohibited within 33’ of Burrowing Owl burrows and 25’ Gopher Tortoise burrows.

Local Event

Beach Clean Up:  

At Tigertail Beach, Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 8 AM to noon.  Meet at the Kiosk. 


Submitted by Linda Turner, CGC Environment Chair

April 2, 2019


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