Water-Related News

Fort Myers Beach to review fertilizer ordinance

The Marine Resources Task Force will undertake a thorough review and update of the town's fertilizer ordinance.

But part of that update will need to include an education component.

"I talked to landscapers and they had no clue there was an ordinance," Council Member Joanne Shamp said at the March 6 meeting.

The town began discussing the fertilizer ordinance when Mayor Dennis Boback requested a workshop to strengthen it in the summer, and recently it has come up again as a way for the town to clean up its own contributions to water quality issues after members of the SWFL Clean Water Movement asked the town to do local water testing.

"I got tired of seeing my canal fill up with grass clippings every Saturday," Boback said - which is a violation in itself.

The current ordinance bans fertilizer with nitrogen or phosphorous during the rainy season from June 1 to Sept. 30, as these two nutrients promote algae growth. Environmental Technician Rae Blake said that rule was consistent with other local governments. From October through May, fertilizer cannot have a concentration of more than 2 percent phosphorous and 20 percent nitrogen.