MARCO ISLAND, Fla.–This island city of 16,000 people, located on the edge of the Everglades in far Southwest Florida, is once again considering a lawn fertilizer ordinance.

Members of the city’s beach advisory and beautification committees are petitioning the city council there to enact a fertilizer ordinance first proposed four years ago.

Ruth McCann, executive director of Marco Island Civic Association and chair of the beach advisory committee, said a draft ordinance exists.

“The reason for proposing a fertilizer ordinance is the water quality results the city received taken from canals on Marco,” said McCann. “They were high in nitrogen and phosphorus, which are the main ingredients in lawn and tree fertilizers.”

According to a recent article in the Marco Island Sun Times newspaper, a workshop has been proposed for mid-September to discuss critical issues such as:

  • Blackout periods for the rainy season, June 1-Sept. 30
  • Frequency of application
  • Fertilizer formulation, with a suggestion of 50 percent less nitrogen and 2 percent less phosphorus
  • A fertilizer-free zone 25 feet from waterways
  • A prohibition against dumping grass clippings and debris into waterways

The ordinance first went before the council on June 6, 2011, for its first reading. But it was tabled and never put back on the council agenda.

The city’s process for proposed ordinances is that initiatives first go to the advisory committees and then on to the city council for review, reports the Marco Island Sun Times.