Space Coast Progressive Alliance

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Sunday, 15 May 2016 08:36

Fertilizer use + the lagoon

Written by  Clyde Giesenschlag and Team SCPA

Posted May 15, 2016 / updated 7pm
Indian River Lagoon, cont'd.

Considering fertilizer use?

Considering the dire condition of the dying Indian River Lagoon, the fertilizer ordinances adopted within Brevard County provide minimal lagoon-friendly standards, only. These standards are better than nothing. Optimal would be no fertilizer use and a fertilizer-free buffer strip of Florida native plants landscaping twenty-five feet deep along all waterways. In an all-out War on Pollution in this beleagured (endangered) lagoon watershed, we should want no fertilizer, no septic tanks and everybody on state-of-the-art sewage treatment systems, no spreading of manures on farmlands that can drain unfiltered directly or indirectly into the lagoon, and best available stormwater filter systems maintained at best frequency. But we do not live in an optimal situation. We live in a badly compromised Florida urgently in need of stronger grassroots citizen uprising to turn around the lagoon situation. The good news is The People are aroused and politicians are on notice. Meanwhile -- if you must fertilizer -- or if your neighbor must fertilize -- follow these minimal guidelines.
-- SCPA Editor

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Fertilizer use in the Indian River Lagoon watershed

Summary: A consensus is finalizing among the governments in the IRL watershed. Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin Counties and 40 of their 44 incorporated municipalities have adopted strong fertilizer ordinances. There are minor differences among the many ordinances, principally in how big to make the fertilizer free zone and certain exemptions. They now all have ordinances with these common features:

• Rainy season ban from June 1 - September 30 for nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer
• No phosphorus allowed without a soil test that indicates need
• Use only fertilizer with total nitrogen content of at least 50% slow release
• Fertilizer free zone, at a minimum, within 10 feet of all bodies of water, no exceptions
• Sets maximum yearly limits by grass types and application rates for fertilizer use on lawns
• Prohibits fertilizer use on new turf for 30 days
• Prohibits leaving grass clippings and fertilizer on any impervious surface (concrete)
• Prohibits fertilizing on days when a heavy rain is expected, if the ground is water saturated or during a flood watch, tropical storm, or hurricane watch or warning
• Establishes a voluntary low maintenance zone within 10' of all water bodies
• Exempts bona fide farm operations
• Requires professionals and institutional applicators to have training
• Establishes penalties for non compliance

Thanks to Clyde Giesenschlag, orignator of the list above on a comprehensive lagoon info website -- link below. Clyde advises that while some of the website is no longer current, the above summary information, written as ordinances were being adopted, is still applicable.

https://sites.google.com/site/fertilizeruseintheirlwatershed/fertilizer-ordinances

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Fertilizer ordinances by city

http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu/ordinances.shtml

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Compiled by Team SCPA

Last modified on Friday, 17 June 2016 10:17
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