ERICA FISH, Public Policy Intern
Naples City Council reiterated its commitment to Naples Bay, voting unanimously on Sept. 15 to reaffirm and readopt the city’s fertilizer ordinance.
Gregg Strakaluse, the city’s streets and stormwater director, provided City Council with an overview of the ordinance, explaining how the use of fertilizer impacts the area’s water quality. First put in place in 2019, the updated ordinance specifically targets regulating toxins in runoff, water pollutants, and how close fertilizer can be used near a water source.
Strakaluse said Naples Bay has identified as a water body that was impaired, which means it has not met state water quality standards due to nutrient pollution. According to a staff report, Naples Bay has been listed as an impaired waterbody in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
So, what does this mean for the area?
Any recycled water used for irrigation, which already contains all needed nutrients, does not need additional fertilizer applications. Additionally, all fertilizer applications should be granular; phosphorus elements aren’t allowed unless explicit circumstances are listed by the city; and no fertilizer use is allowed within 10 feet of a water source.
Any damage that can be reversed or reach a level of improvement for the surrounding habitats is an essential consideration for Naples because the city council has the authority to regulate the code, making it more restrictive than that of Florida’s code on fertilizer.
The ordinance will remain in effect through the end of September, as rainy season continues. During this time, the city asks that no fertilizer be used and to refer to their additional information regarding application, management, overuse and misuse.
For more information on the city’s fertilizer ordinance, visit www.naplesgov.com/fertilizer.