Space Coast Progressive Alliance

The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Saturday, 23 August 2014 05:53

Melbourne revisits fertilizer

Written by  Glesenschlag, Souto, Team SCPA

UPDATED: Revised Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 10am

By vote of 6-0, Melbourne City Council unanimously passed stronger fertilizer ordinance at 1st Hearing on August 26. There is one more public hearing to go, before the ordinance gets one more vote and then becomes adopted ordinance. Thanks to emails and show of support at the city council meeting. Councilman Greg Jones was absent, running for County Commission.

--------------------------------

ACTION!

Fertilizer Ordinance Hearing at City of Melbourne

6:30pm Tues. Aug 26, 2014
Melbourne City Hall, 900 E Strawbridge Ave, Melbourne FL 32901

The Melbourne City Council first reading and public hearing of Ordinance 2014 - 54 that will amend the existing fertilizer ordinance to adopt stronger regulations similar to what was passed by Melbourne Beach and many other cities.

ACTION:
1. Attend the city council hearing and speak up for the lagoon!
2. Send emails of support, Attn: Melbourne City Council
Email address for all except John Thomas and Greg Jones: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FULL CONTACT INFO below.

* NOTE: There is a problem with City of Melbourne's proposed fertilizer ordinance:

PHOSPHOROUS

Problem: Melbourne's proposed ordinance allows both "no phosphate fertilizer" and "low phosphate fertilizer."

Solution: The city should modify the ordinance language to delete the words "or Low Phosphate Fertilizer"-- so the ordinance will read just like the Brevard County ordinance.

Why no phosphorous without a soil test indicating a deficiency?

1.  Our local Florida soils are rich in phosphorus. Rarely is there any need for additional phosphorous.

2.  One pound of phosphorus can produce 500 pounds of algae!

3.  Melbourne needs to reduce the phosphorus in the its portion of the Indian River Lagoon by 8,094 pounds -- in addition to what is being removed by all efforts to date.

4.  Cleanup of phosphorus is very costly, so why allow unnecessary additions in the first place?

5.  Fertilizer industry professionals generally do not apply phosphorus to turf without a soil test indicating a deficiency.

6.  Every other fertilizer ordinance in Brevard County specifies that there is to be no phosphorus without a soil test indicating a deficiency. Melbourne's ordinance should be consistent with the others to make compliance easier and facilitate a consistent, strong educational message.

7. With all the pelican, manatee, dolphin, and fish deaths and the massive IRL seagrass dieoffs, why would Melbourne choose to allow fertilization with phosphorus when it is not needed?

----------------------------

 

MELBOURNE CITY COUNCIL

DIRECTORY

http://www.melbourneflorida.org/info/council_info.htm

CONTACT INFO

Mayor Kathy Meehan 321-984-7588
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dist. 1 Mike Nowlin 321-254-1886
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dist. 2 Betty Moore 321-205-3389
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dist. 3 Yvonne Minus 321-724-9193
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dist. 4 John Thomas 321-508-6738
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dist. 5 Molly Tasker 321-608-7220
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dist. 6 Greg Jones 321-242-3444
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

----------------------------

LETTER TO MELBOURNE CITY COUNCIL

FROM DR. LEESA SOUTO, Executive Director, Marine Resources Council

SUBJECT: Pass a strong fertilizer ordinance

AUGUST 21, 2014

Hello Mayor Meehan and City Council;

A few weeks ago, I left the Melbourne Post Office quickly in anticipation of the afternoon monsoon that was approaching, I saw a city employee applying granular fertilizer to the Henegar Center lawn.   We got over 2 inches of rain that day.  Why was your employee applying fertilizer before a “heavy rain event” in conflict with your current model ordinance?  Because there is no way to know how much it is going to rain before it rains.  This is a perfect example of why a seasonal restriction is needed.  Floridians and scientists agree.  Heavy rain is much more likely to happen in the summer, so don’t apply fertilizer during the summer when it is more likely to run-off into the stormdrain that leads to the Lagoon.  

Last week you voted to increase the stormwater utility fee and impose the cost of clean stormwater on your residents.  As a resident, I am happy to pay for better stormwater, but why should I when your own people are polluting with irresponsible fertilizer use?  Do the right thing for the Lagoon and for your residents.  Pass a strong fertilizer ordinance tonight.  These ordinances have been adopted by nearly 200 local governments including Brevard, Volusia, Indian River, Martin, and St. Lucie Counties and 42 municipalities in the Indian River Lagoon watershed.  Melbourne, Fellsmere, and the Town of Jupiter Island are the only three remaining municipalities in the Lagoon watershed that have not adopted these strong fertilizer ordinance provisions that:  
 
 • Restrict the use of nutrients in lawn fertilizers during the rainy season (June 1 – September 30), when heavy rains are likely to contribute to excessive nutrient leaching and runoff.
 • Require that at least 50% of the Nitrogen in lawn fertilizer be slow release.
 • Require no Phosphorous fertilizer be used unless a soil test confirms it is needed.
 • Require a fertilizer-free buffer zone of 15 feet from all surface waters (lagoon, lakes, ponds, creeks, streams, canals, ditches, etc.)

Attached is information to support these four provisions that includes a Powerpoint  presentation  recently conducted by Harvey Harper, P.E., Ph.D. that summarizes the history of fertilizer regulation in our state, the differences between the model ordinance and the recommended additional provisions, the science to support the four additional provisions, the cost and environmental impact of urban fertilizers, enforcement mechanisms, and how fertilizer compares to reclaimed water in terms of nutrient content.  In Sarasota County, where these provisions have been in effect since 2007, the lawns are still healthy, the industry is still viable, and the economy is still thriving.  There is nothing to lose by adopting these provisions and everything to gain.  

MRC commends you for proceeding with the four provisions that protect our local waterways from fertilizer pollution. Do not be exempt the professional applicators from the ordinance.   

Please contact me with any questions at 321-725-7775 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..    Thank you for doing all that you can to protect the Indian River Lagoon.
 
Respectfully;

Dr. Leesa Souto
Executive Director
Marine Resources Council
www.mrcirl.org

Donate to MRC and give back to the Indian River Lagoon

----------------------------

LINKS

How Does Your Lawn Hurt the Lagoon?
http://www.mrcirl.org/irl-issues/nitrogen

Science to Support Fertilizer Controls
http://www.mrcirl.org/irl-issues/science-to-support-fertilizer-controls

General background, roundup of reports and updates
http://www.scpaflorida.com/environment

--------------------------------------------
Thanks to Clyde Glesenschlag, Dr. Leesa Souto and others. Compiled by Team SCPA

 

Last modified on Saturday, 30 August 2014 08:00
Login to post comments
You are here: Home Articles Melbourne revisits fertilizer