Reminder: fertilizer blackout period starts June 1!

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To residents of Indian River County, the City of Vero Beach, Sebastian, and Orchid, a reminder that fertilizer restrictions will go into effect on June 1st. We are coming into our rainy season when more nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous (as well as herbicides, pet waste, etc,) are likely to be washed from our lawns, driveways, and roads into the stormwater system and, ultimately, into our already impaired Indian River Lagoon.  The fertilizer ordinances passed by our communities prohibit the use of lawn fertilizer between June 1st and September 30th. No fertilizer containing Phosphorous is to be used at any time. All fertilizers must contain at least 50% slow-release Nitrogen. Finally, no fertilizer is to be applied within 10 feet of any water body, a wetland, or from the top of a seawall.

If you use a lawn care provider, please discuss these regulations with them and ask them not to blow grass clippings onto the road or into storm drains.  This vegetation contains the nutrients from fertilizer that only adds to the pollution of our waterways.  For details regarding the ordinance and fertilizing tips, please see the County’s video: https://www.ircgov.com/publicworks/stormwater/fertilizer.htm or email Alexis Peralta, the County’s Stormwater educator and fertilizer enforcement officer, at aperalta@ircgov.com.

For your health and the health of our waterways, complying with the fertilizer ordinance is more important than ever as excess nutrients encourage the growth of harmful and possibly toxic algal blooms. These blooms are already being reported in other parts of our State.  Please do your part to improve water quality by obeying the fertilizer ordinance.

Thank you,

Jean Catchpole, co-chair

IRNA Water & Lagoon Committee