An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Seminole County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Central Florida leaders and advocates want local control of fertilizer usage

Fertilizer runoff from lawns during rain season can cause things like algae blooms and harmful pollution that impacts local waterways.

And since 2007, counties like Orange and Seminole have enforced regulations limiting the usage of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers.

However last year, Governor Ron DeSantis passed a budget which included a year-long moratorium on new fertilizer bans as scientists from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences studied the effectiveness of such ordinances.

With the legislative session nearing an end, advocates are concerned another last-minute addition to the budget will continue to limit their ability to control fertilizer runoff locally.

Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine said fertilizer usage directly affects people locally and home rule is the standing law of the land.

“These are not things that happen at the state level,” said Constantine, who previously served in the Florida House and Senate. “These are things that are locally decided. And please remember that as you're finishing these last few days of the legislature, we need your help to continue to have a strong local government in Florida.”

Eighteen Florida counties and over 100 municipalities have adopted fertilizer restrictions since 2007, with Sarasota County being the first to enact the regulations.