Space Coast Progressive Alliance

The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Friday, 06 December 2013 08:46

On Fertilizer Ordinances

Written by  Dave Botto


On Fertilizer Ordinances

From a letter to city council members
by Dave Botto, Board of Directors, MRC (Marine Resources Council)

The state model fertilizer ordinance… is ambiguously general and ineffective. It has been in effect for over six years and Florida's waters are, almost without exception, in crisis because of nutrient pollution.

To adopt the state model ordinance is to continue the status quo. 

47,000 acres of lagoon sea grass lost to nutrient pollution makes obvious the status quo is not working and change is urgently needed.

Dr. Grant Gilmore, a marine biologist who has studied the lagoon for 30 years, recently stated that our "most diverse estuary in North America" is on the verge of becoming the least diverse estuary.

Fertilizer in our storm water is a major problem. If not, we need to answer for the millions of taxpayer dollars spent over the years to reduce it -- retention ponds, baffle boxes, treatment facilities.

A strong fertilizer ordinance will not, by itself, remedy our problem entirely, there are other sources and other remedies needed. It is, however, a chance to make a significant difference quickly and at little cost. It has proven to reduce nutrient pollution by as much as 28% with an estimated 50% compliance (Lehman 2009).

The model fertilizer ordinance on Florida's west coast has demonstrated that a strong ordinance is dramatically effective with no reported down side in yard grass health -- or in the lawn maintenance industry. To the contrary, a major lawn care business in the Tampa Bay area just added some 200 employees to handle new customers.

… We are about to lose our entire marine economy.  

I urge cities to adopt strong ordinances…

"The greatest mistake is made by those who, because they can only do something small, do nothing"

About science and fertilizer, see:


Last modified on Friday, 06 December 2013 09:06
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