Fertilizer ban impedes harmful nutrient runoff, takes effect in Cape Coral

Preventing another water crisis could start in your front yard. On Saturday, restrictions begin on what you can put on your lawn.

Fertilizer bans are taking effect all across Southwest Florida. The City of Cape Coral will ban their use of fertilizers until Sept. 30.

The purpose is to keep the harmful nutrients found in fertilizer from washing into storm drains during the rainy months. Many areas in Southwest Florida have similar bans, including Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach.

“It is not a cure-all,” said Kelly McNab, an environmental planning specialist at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “This isn’t going to solve our water quality crisis we’re facing in southwest Florida. What it is is it’s a very important piece of the puzzle.”

Soon Naples will have its ban. Under the new ordinance, the city would prohibit the use of fertilizer from June 1 to Sept 30.

The ordinance would also require lawn clippings to be removed from water drains. The purpose is to keep the harmful nutrients found in fertilizer from washing into drains, which was a big topic during last year’s water quality crisis.

The City of Naples will discuss the ordinance on Wednesday.

“There’s so many things that can be done to improve water quality that are out of the city Naples’ hands,” McNab said. “This is something that local residents can get involved in that our local officials can make changes on.”

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Click here for tips from the county on how to “fertilize smart.”

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Michael Mora
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