Water-Related News

Lee County approves water quality education campaign

Commissioners approved a contract for development of a water-quality educational campaign

FORT MYERS – The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve a contract to continue an educational outreach campaign encouraging the responsible use of landscape fertilizers to decrease the amount of nutrients in Lee County waterways.

The $270,000 contract with Dickinson & Associates will continue the campaign for one year to include educational efforts in print, radio, television, web, youth education and social media.

Excessive nutrients – nitrogen and phosphorus – from fertilizer used on urban lawns and landscapes can have a detrimental effect on water quality in Southwest Florida. This is particularly true during Florida’s rainy season, which is typically June through October. Excess nutrients in stormwater runoff can stimulate algae blooms, including drift algae and blue-green algae, and has been implicated in red tide blooms. These blooms can result in harmful impacts to beaches, wildlife and the local economy.

Responsible use of fertilizer, including rainy season blackout periods imposed by local ordinances, is a cost-effective way of controlling nutrient pollution entering the county’s waterways and estuaries.

The campaign, which builds on the successful program "Give Your Fertilizer Routine a Summer Vacation" also aims to increase awareness among urban fertilizer users about the risk to local waters from fertilizer runoff. Among these users are the many residents who regularly apply fertilizer to promote the health and growth of their lawns and landscapes.

For more on educational efforts, visit http://fertilizesmart.com/