Sarasota County Commissioners Consider a Voluntary Year-Round Fertilizer Ban

Sarasota County Commissioners Consider a Voluntary Year-Round Fertilizer Ban

SARASOTA (WWSB) -Sarasota County looking at a new plan for fertilizer. County commissioners say they’ll consider a voluntary year-round ban on fertilizer to help combat the red tide.

Passionate citizens are hoping that Sarasota County will follow the City of Venice and encourage people to not use fertilizers year round.

Hands Along the Water Vice President Adrienne Miceli-Trask said that fertilizer runoff helps red tide blooms grow.

"There's so much more involved in this than just natural red tide.This is all of things that bring you to the fertilizer as well is unnatural," Miceli-Trask said.

But people like Alex Barth, who is a design consultant for Troy's Tropics Inc., said that a year round ban isn't necessary.

"Fertilizer is very necessary for the health of not only landscaped plants but if you grow edible gardens, things of that nature," Barth said.

He said there are healthier time release fertilizers that people can use.

"If you're responsible about using it you can really be environmentally minded and still have a gorgeous looking landscape," said Barth.

Miceli-Trask said that most people don't think of things like fertilizers being dangerous and if the local government recommended people not to use fertilizer they may be more aware.

"It's not their top focus, it's not their top priority. But if you're living in Florida I believe that it needs to be one of your top priorities because our Gulf is dying and we've witnessed a horrific scene this year," said Miceli-Trask.

And Barth agrees that people should be aware of what they put on their lawn, but doesn't support banning fertilizer all together.

"I would just encourage people to maybe do a little bit more homework and see what the real culprits are as far as red tide problems, algae blooms, things of that nature," Barth said.

This potential voluntary fertilizer ban is still under consideration.Sarasota County commissioners say there is no date set yet to discuss the possibility of implementation.

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