Fertilizer ban takes effect Sunday in Brevard County

Saturday is the last day Brevard County homeowners will be allowed to fertilize their yards. Well, most homeowners in the county, that is. Melbourne officials said their city isn’t going along with the plan, which is designed to help the health of the Indian River Lagoon…

Rainy season is here in Central Florida. And it’s the big reason why cities up and down the Space Coast this summer are banning fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorous.

“They’re likely to dissolve in the rainwater that comes in the summertime and (runs off) into the Indian River Lagoon,” said Leesa Souto, of the Marine Resources Council.

The Marine Resources Council said nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous cause algae blooms that block sunlight and kill sea grass, which is the main food source in the lagoon.

Nursery and lawn care businesses have been busy making sure customers put fertilizers with 50 percent slow-release nitrogen on their lawns before June 1. But not everybody is going along with the ordinance.

The Marine Resources Council said 15 of the 16 cities in Brevard County have adopted the rainy season ban — even unincorporated Brevard County must follow the strict rules.

“Everybody is flowing into the lagoon, so if one person holds out, then they’re kind of the one city or county that is still providing input of nutrients,” Souto said.

That one city is Melbourne.

The Melbourne City Council rejected the stricter ordinance, instead complying with the more lenient state regulations.

They said they don’t have enough code enforcement officers to make sure people don’t fertilize their lawns. Instead, city leaders want to put money into stormwater improvements to treat the runoff water before it hits the lagoon.

“The council, I think, feels like that’s where the real bang for the buck is,” Melbourne City Manager Mike McNees said. “And (it’s) where we can really make a difference — not just looking like we’re making a difference by adopting an ordinance that’s not really easily enforceable.”

Saturday is the last day for homeowners from Palm Bay to Titusville to fertilize their lawns until Sept. 30. Except, of course, if you live in the city of Melbourne.

The rainy season fertilizer ban includes the following cities:

  • Rockledge
  • Satellite Beach
  • Melbourne Village
  • Titusville
  • Cocoa Beach
  • Cape Canaveral
  • Indian Harbour Beach
  • Grant-Valkaria
  • Cocoa
  • Malabar
  • Indialantic
  • Palm Bay
  • West Melbourne
  • Palm Shores
  • Melbourne Beach

Also included in the ban is unincorporated Brevard County (Merritt Island, Viera and Port St. John).

For more information on the Marine Resources Council and the fertilizer ban, go here.

 

Photo caption: The Marine Resources Council said nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous cause algae blooms that block sunlight and kill sea grass, which is the main food source in the Indian River Lagoon.

Jerry Hume, mynews13

View original article: Fertilizer ban takes effect Sunday in Brevard County

 

 

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