June-September ban on certain fertilizers benefits waterways (Sarasota, FL, USA)
31 May 2009, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
What season starts tomorrow? Hurricane season, of course. Its arrival will be appropriately accompanied by media coverage, predictions and government warnings. But what other season begins tomorrow, at least in Sarasota and Charlotte counties? It’s “don’t fertilize with nitrogen and phosphorus season.”
Sarasota and some other Florida counties have passed laws to prohibit, under most circumstances, the summertime use of fertilizers with nitrogen and phosphorus. Reducing the amount of those elements that enter local waterways makes a positive difference in the quality of the environment which, in turn, benefits the quality of life for a wide range of residents and businesses.
Nitrogen and phosphorus occur naturally, but excessive levels in waters retard the growth of sea grasses, a keystone species in the marine environment. The grasses are vital components of the food chain, provide habitat for sea life and indicate the health of estuaries.
Thanks to Seagrass Watch E Bulletin for the link.
Combination weed killer, fertilizer products have been shown over and over again to be detrimental to both the Chesapeake and Puget Sound, yet every spring here in Washington ads for these products fill the radio and TV and bags of the stuff clog our stores. Simultaneously the state, EPA and many environmental organizations tell us not to use them.
In addition to doing damage to the marine environment, chemical fertilizers have also been shown to deplete the very soil they are used on, which leads people to increase the amount they use, exacerbating both problems.
Rumor has it that banning these lawn and garden products is impossible because the chemical lobby is too powerful, so I’m glad to see that Sarasota has managed this.