Ponds offer many benefits. Ponds offer a serene place to relax, complement the aesthetics of a landscape and serve as a source of water and shelter for wildlife. Critters who might visit your pond range from insects to predators. The size of the pond, proximity to inhabited spaces, vegetation, landscaping and geography influence the kinds of wildlife that will frequent it.
In Florida, both desirable wildlife, such as butterflies, frogs and birds, and dangerous wildlife, such as alligators, snakes, wild hogs and foxes, live near human habitation. There are ways to control the types of wildlife that visit your pond. Wildlife control strategies are part of the services offered by pond management companies in Florida. Although you may consider managing your pond on your own, using a professional company has its advantages.
Ponds As Ecosystems
Ponds create micro-ecosystems that are attractive to wildlife and humans. Water, food and nesting habitats provide shelter and sustenance for many species. Because natural habitats often decrease as human activity expands, many kinds of wildlife must find alternative food sources and live closer to people. Good pond management creates microenvironments that attract a broad range of desirable wildlife while keeping nuisance wildlife away.
Discourage Unwanted Wildlife With Active Pond Management
To keep unwanted or dangerous wildlife away, keep the area around the pond free of tall grasses, piles of wood or stone, empty potting containers, mulch and thick vegetation. Keeping the area free of food and waste makes it less desirable to snakes, raccoons, rodents and other scavengers. Although most snakes are not dangerous, Florida is home to six species of poisonous snakes. If you encounter a poisonous snake, call a professional to remove it.
Several types of wildlife enhance the ambience and health of ponds and surrounding landscape. Frogs and toads, salamanders, small lizards, turtles, birds, insects and fish contribute to a healthy pond and balanced ecosystem. Larger animals include opossum, deer, squirrels and rabbits.
Frogs are a desirable part of a pond ecosystem. They eat insects, including nuisance mosquitoes, as well as worms and snails. Larger species eat small rodents, snakes and small fish. They are food sources for wildlife higher in the food chain, including birds, opossum, raccoons, foxes and other predators.
Frogs are an enjoyable addition to a pond, providing background noise during mating season and an opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy their antics. Catch them skimming the surface of the water, resting at the edge of the water body or hiding in vegetation. The range of colors, sizes and sounds makes them a welcome addition to backyard ponds.
Ponds draw many types of birds, including migratory species, ducks, kites, ibis, hummingbirds and owls. Several vibrantly colored birds, including painted buntings, orioles, purple gallinule and cardinals, are found throughout the state. Birds are beneficial because they eat insects, small rodents and snakes.
Experienced pond management companies in Florida can help you manage your pond, keep it healthy and create habitats that attract desirable wildlife. You can create a unique ecosystem by managing the area around the pond. Good management practices enhance your landscape and property and encourage beneficial wildlife to nest and breed.
According to Scientific American, it takes 1,000 years to generate just three inches of topsoil. At the present rate of decay, the world only has a 60-year supply left to grow its food. Scientists blame climate change, bad farming habits, and erosion. On a smaller scale, the same damage is occurring to landscapes across the country, but there are ways to stop the soil on slopes and hillsides from washing away.
How Does Erosion Damage the Landscape?
Erosion occurs when water, wind and gravity wash away soil from slopes and hillsides, making it harder for vegetation to grow and creating problems like these:
1. Loss of nutrients from heavy rains
2. Clogged drains in yards, pools and neighborhoods
3. Higher risk of flooding from clogged drains
4. Decline in air quality because of impurities in the soil
5. Accumulation of silt at the end of driveways
6. Damage to driveways and swimming pools
7. Unhealthy living conditions for marine life
8. Buildup of mud in creeks and streams
Not all slopes are the same, and the fixes for hillside erosion range from simple to complex. Florida has a flat terrain, but its sandy soil is more likely to wash away than clay. Practices like planting grass and shrubs, building terraces, and improving drainage are effective but harder in some areas than others. Sizable areas or steep slopes may be more difficult, and professionals at one of the lake management companies in Florida can help.
Five Ways to Stop Hillside Erosion
For a slope with less than a 33% grade, mulch can be used alone or with plants to keep dirt from washing away. A three-inch layer of weighty material, such as rock or shredded bark, works better than lighter options.
2. Planting groundcovers, grasses and shrubs
Plants with varying root systems hold the soil together on slopes. Indigenous shrubs, grasses and groundcovers are popular because they’re hardy and easy to grow. Plants like creeping juniper and bougainvillea do well in tropical environments, and ferns thrive in shady areas.
3. Retaining walls and terraces
A retaining wall provides rigid support for different levels of soil on each side. Concrete is the least expensive building material, and stone is a time-honored classic. Sometimes, retaining walls resemble stair steps, creating a terrace for vegetation at each level.
4. Erosion control blankets
Erosion control blankets may be made from biodegradable materials like coco mats and straw, or they may be reinforced with polypropylene to make them last longer. When placed on a slope, they hold soil in place.
Sandbags are used to divert the flow of water away from buildings, driveways and other areas. They can be used with plastic sheeting to make them more effective. If not contaminated, the bags can be dried out and stored for future use.
Maintaining the stability of slopes improves appearance, increases property value, and makes it safe for wildlife. The best solution is the use of sustainable supplies that work with the natural features of the property.
From enhancing the aesthetics of a golf course to creating unique challenges for players, ponds are natural and excellent additions to any golfing venue. Of course, that’s only true when those ponds stay in good shape. If they become fouled, dank, drained or otherwise damaged, ponds can seriously detract from players’ enjoyment of even well-designed golf courses. Therefore, if you own a golf course, it’s in your best interests to make effective pond management a top priority. Learn more about pond management for golf courses in Florida, including standard methods for keeping these bodies of water in tiptop shape.
Benefits of Golf Pond Management
It’s easy to assume that ponds and other natural bodies of water pretty much take care of themselves. Especially on a golf course, whose turf is fertilized, cut and tended to throughout the year, ponds can develop severe issues over time. From unsightly algal blooms to musty, unpleasant odors, ponds on even exceptionally well-maintained courses can fall victim to many significant problems. Rather than wait until such issues arise, golf course owners are wise to embrace proactive golf course pond management techniques.
Some top examples of pond management techniques for golf courses include:
The techniques highlighted above are just the tip of the iceberg for golf course pond management. The right company can help you keep your Florida golf course pond in excellent shape through proactive pond management techniques, so make this a priority for your business as soon as possible.
The body of water on your property serves important purposes such as aiding in the proper redirection of stormwater away from buildings. People may also enjoy recreational activities such as fishing around the lake or pond. For the most part, you can trust that your water feature will serve these vital purposes for many years, but all bodies of water do require some maintenance. Oxygen is one of the most crucial elements for keeping bodies of water healthy, and there are several methods used for aeration that can help introduce it to the water. Exploring the different ways that dissolved oxygen can be introduced to your lake or pond gives you a starting point for improving your water maintenance plan.
Use Oxygen Saturation Technology to Hit the Sediment
Getting to the bottom of water maintenance issues often involves going deep beneath the surface of the lake or pond. Low levels of oxygen can occur in the sediment where decaying matter has led to an overgrowth of bacteria. With this type of technology, oxygen is injected into the water where it can settle along the line where the sediment and water meet. This method has the benefit of adding five to 10 times more oxygen to the water compared to other types of aeration strategies.
Install a Submersed Aerator
This form of aeration is mostly undetectable from the surface of the water. Lake management companies in Florida place special equipment at the bottom of the water that use compressed air to create bubbles. As the bubbles move to the top of the lake or pond, the water can collect oxygen that it will bring back down as it sinks towards the ground.
Add a Beautiful Floating Fountain
Aeration can also improve the aesthetics of the waterbody, and everyone loves watching the water flow from a fountain on a warm, sunny day. While people take in the beauty of the flowing water, fountains are actually doing an important job. The water falling on the surface of the water generates turbulence that moves oxygen deeper into the water while allowing unwanted gases to rise to the top and escape into the air.
Treat Smaller Bodies of Water With Nanobubble Technology
For small or shallow waterbodies, it may be best to pump water through a special system that infuses it with microscopic bubbles. Oxygen is introduced to the aquatic environment as the bubble-filled water flows back into the lake or pond. Instead of rising to the surface, these tiny bubbles can float for several days. This allows for oxygen to continue to be introduced to the water over a longer period of time.
An oxygen-rich body of water will appear clearer and have fewer weeds and algae growth clouding the surface. You’ll also find that proper aeration stimulates the healthy growth of fish populations and desirable plant life. If you’ve noticed that your lake or pond seems murky, emits a foul odor or has an overgrowth of algae, then aeration is an effective solution for solving many of your water-related problems.
With more than 7,700 lakes measuring more than 20 acres and countless pounds measuring 20 acres or less, Florida is a place that certainly enjoys its water bodies. Many of these are manmade and found on public property. Ponds can be a wonderful source of social and recreational activities, but it's important that they be managed properly and follow standard conservation principles in order. Otherwise, they could be harmful to the environment.
Florida's ponds and lakes provide plenty of opportunity for fishing, a popular recreational activity in these parts. These waterways are also great for hunting water fowl and bird watching. Many ponds are developed specifically for other purposes including swimming, drainage, irrigation, mining, livestock watering and residential development. It's important that some of these objectives may not be compatible with pond management meant for fish and wildlife.
Knowledge of ecology, the study of living things and their relationship to the environment, is important to recreational pond management. You must understand that even the smallest change could adversely affect these complex relationships among organisms and their habitats. There are distinct levels on the water life food pyramid, ranging from algae to humans. Alligators, largemouth bass, and wading birds are also at the top. Each successive level feeds from the one below it. This interdependence must be sustained within your pond ecosystem in order to have a healthy ecosystem.
Even something as seemingly mundane as the amount of algae in your pond can have significant effects on the wildlife in your pond. Too little sunlight can lead to dense algae blooms, which can take away the supply of dissolved oxygen needed for fish to live. Excessive fertility causes green ponds and harmful conditions for aquatic life. If your pond receives an abundance of nutrients, you may need to make changes to reduce or eliminate some sources.
The quality of your pond water must be carefully maintained and monitored in order for the environment to be hospitable to the micro-organism, plant, fish and animal life within it. You need the right levels of pond productivity in order to feed the fish, which in turn are food for various forms of wildlife. Poor water quality results in lackluster pond production.
You may notice muddied or cloudy water. This is known as turbidity. It's not necessarily a problem unless the water becomes too dark for adequate sunlight to penetrate. In such cases, measures will be needed to curb the problem. Such actions as planting vegetation to slow erosion and trees to serve as a buffer from wind can slow erosion, among other solutions. You must also be sure to support proper pH levels in your pond, typically between 6.0 to 8.0. Liming can increase low levels in order to protect pond productivity.
Professional pond management companies in Florida have the knowledge and skill to cultivate the delicate conditions necessary to maintain a healthy and bountiful recreational pond. Acquiring expert assistance is an investment that can simplify your duties and result in greater success.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.