NewsProtecting Paradise


Cape Coral considering tighter fertilizer restrictions

Posted at 11:20 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 23:20:32-04

Did you know that fertilizer, specifically the kind with phosphorus in it, could help contribute to harmful algal blooms?

It's a trend the cape coral city council is trying to stop, Monday night, they voted on a measure to tighten fertilizer restrictions in the area.

"Our soil is very nutrient rich especially we are rich in phosphorus," said councilwoman Jennifer Nelson.

The voted ended in up failing in a 4-4 split.

It failed for a lot of reasons, mainly because some council members wanted to make sure it was fair to everyone in the city.

"If you're in a certain distance then you have this restriction, but if you're in the middle of the city where there's no water around why should you have that same restriction? To me that doesn't make sense," said councilman John Gunter.

The council says it will go back to the drawing board and vote on a revised version of the plan, which is music to the ears of one James Douglass a professor at the Water School at FGCU.

"Fertilizer doesn't just make the plants in your lawn and garden grow it also stimulates the growth of algae in the water," he said.

Douglass says that fertilizer could get into our waterways in a number of ways, which could help create those devastating algal blooms.

"When there's too much algae in the water it can become toxic or it can deplete the oxygen and kill fish and that's something unfortunately we're seeing a lot of in our water lately," he said.

He says curbing those blooms will take a bunch of different efforts, but starting with fertilizer is a great first step. He also adds that updated ordinance or not, all of us can also do our part and avoid using the stuff as much as possible.

"I don't use any fertilizer at all in my garden and I still have lots of beautiful plants," he said.