Lee County to ban fertilizer in an effort to reduce algae blooms
FORT MYERS, Fla.– Water experts say we need to ditch lawn fertilizers this summer.
For years, Lee County and Sanibel leaders have asked people to stop fertilizing their yards during the wet season. Most fertilizers contain phosphorus and nitrogen. Those two elements can fuel algae to grow, and turn into a bloom.
Sanibel Environmental Biologist, Dana Dettmar, said fertilizers can runoff into the water during the summer months. She says if everyone keeps fertilizer off their lawn, it can would make a big difference.
“It’s more important to prevent it from getting in the water, because it’s a lot easier to keep fertilizers out,” she said. “Once they get into the water it’s much harder to remove them.”
Algae blooms are sitting on Lake Okeechobee and parts of the Caloosahatchee right now. Lee County’s Natural Resources Operations Manager, Kurt Harclerode, said we should do everything we can to try and limit our impact on the blooms.
“Those same nutrients that make your lawn green can also help feed algae that’s in our waters and create a bloom. We’re trying to curtail any unnecessary algal blooms.”
Lee County is asking people to stop using fertilizers from June 1 to October 30. If you use fertilizer during that time, you could receive a citation.
For more information on the Lee County Fertilizer Ordinance, click here.
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