Water-Related News

Go green: Don’t fertilize this summer

It is time for Southwest Floridians who have been demanding action to improve water quality in our canals, river and gulf to step up and take part.


Fertilizer restrictions throughout much of Lee County begin June 1, prohibiting, through the rainy season, the use of chemical additives to green up lawns and landscaping.

The "blackout" ordinances in Lee County, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Beach are not new nor is the one on Sanibel, where the prohibition goes into effect on July 1.

All ban the use of fertilizers through September to keep additional nitrogen and, especially, phosphorous, out of area waterbodies where the chemicals can "feed" algae, naturally occurring or not, and so foster noxious algal blooms.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida states the purpose behind the annual ban well:

... "Fertilizers placed on your lawn to make the grass grow can have the same effect on algae species in our waterways help them grow. Excess nutrients in the water can result in blooms of algae that use up the available oxygen in the water, killing fish and other aquatic organisms.