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

Water-Related News

As toxic algae looms, Sarasota County calls to reduce use of fertilizer

SARASOTA COUNTY — As red tide continues to linger off local shorelines, Sarasota County is urging residents to reduce the use of fertilizers that can help fuel the algal blooms.

Nutrient pollution is widespread and can create challenging environmental issues for waterways throughout the county. The amount of rainfall expected during the rainy season increases the likelihood of a surge of nutrients in waterways. Excessive nutrients contribute to algae blooms, diminish water quality and threaten aquatic life.

With summer rains on the way, residents are asked to reduce nutrient pollution by using environmentally friendly or alternative landscaping and lawn fertilizer from June through Sept. 30.

John Morgan is Sarasota County’s Air and Water Quality supervisor. He said that environmentally friendly fertilizers contain zero nitrogen and zero phosphorus. Excess amounts of these naturally occurring nutrients can create a harmful imbalance when washed away into storm drains and carried to local water bodies.