Shore Maintenance

Orange county EPD requirements control the modification of your shorefront below the normal high water mark. Aquatic plant removal requires permits from state and county agencies. The exception is the allowance of an access corridor without permits. This corridor is not more than 20% or 30ft of your total linear shoreline (whichever is greater).

Below is a guideline of the process to perform lakeshore modifications greater than the allowable access corridor. Please contact Orange County EPD (407) 836-4100 for more details on this process.


Permitting Process Guideline
  1. Send in form clearance of lakeshore vegetation app with $122 check to EPD.
  2. Send in state permit form FWC Aquatic Plant Removal Permit Application. to:
  3. FDEP Bureau of Invasive Plant Management

    5882 S. Semoran Blvd., Orlando, FL 32822

    407-275-4004 (office)

  4. EPD will come out and assess your lakefront and approve your permit.
  5. You or your contractor proceed to make changes to your shorefront.
  6. EPD re-inspects to approve modifications.
  7. Subsequently you can maintain, even with aquatic herbicides, your shore as long as you maintain 80% aquatic plant coverage.


Top Ten Reasons to Aquascaping your lakefront:

  1. Beautify
  2. Provide wildlife with food
  3. Provide protection and spawning habitat for wildlife
  4. Purify water
  5. Prevents erosion from rain and absorbs boat wakes
  6. Add oxygen
  7. Provide shade
  8. Reduce maintenance
  9. Increase property value
  10. Absorbs nutrients from storm water runoff & decaying matter in the lake to prevent algae growth and improve lake water quality.


Aquascaping Guide by Jim Thomas of Biosphere Consulting


Given Lake Irma’s topology of a long shallow shore shelf and sometimes heavy boat/wave traffic, the following recommended native plants thrive:

  1. Bulrushes.
  2. Duck Potato (aka Broadleaf Arrowhead/ Bull Tongue).
  3. Pickerel weed.
  4. Bald Cypress.
  5. Spatterdock (Cow Lily).
  6. Strap-leaf sagittaria (Strap-leaf Arrowhead).
  7. Vallisneria americana (Eel Grass).


Lake Irma has the following invasive plants which should be removed:

  1. Hydrilla
  2. Water hyacinth.
  3. Cat-tails.*
  4. Torpedo grass.**
  5. Water primrose.
  6. Alligator weed.
  7. Wild Taro.
  8. Earleaf Acacia.
  9. Elephant Grass.
  10. Para Grass.
  11. Water Spinach.
  12. Duck Weed.


*Cattails are a native plant with some bad characteristics. Cattails form monocultures and create tremendous amounts of biomass. The biomass nutrient load is detrimental to lake water quality.

**Torpedograss is one of the most serious weeds in Florida. It grows in or near shallow waters forming monocultures where it can quickly displace native vegetation. It also adds significant biomass to the lake.