Water-Related News

Black out on nitrogen, phosphorous fertilizers in effect

With the arrival of rainy season comes a black out period for certain fertilizers on Sanibel.

From July 1 through Sept. 30, a city ordinance prohibits the application of fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorous. However, products containing only secondary or micronutrients, such as magnesium and iron, may be applied throughout the black out period and are the sole exception.

"The goal is to reduce nutrient pollution to our local waters," Holly Milbrandt, deputy director of Sanibel's Natural Resources Department, said. "They (nitrogen and phosphorous) are the same two nutrients that cause algae blooms in local waterways. It all comes back to the water quality issue."

She added that grass tends to grow just fine without fertilizer in the rainy season.

"So using it is sort of doing what Mother Nature is already doing by itself," Milbrandt said.