City of Naples Government
United States of America

When fertilizer or sewage runs into a waterway, or when phosphorous and nitrogen rise up from the ocean depths, algae can converge and feast and mushroom on the buffet of growth-inducing nutrients and create algal blooms. Algal blooms can be dramatic and are a result of excess nutrients from fertilizer, wastewater, and stormwater runoff, coinciding with lots of sunlight, warm temperatures and shallow, slow-flowing water. The public plays an important role in reducing nutrient pollution but so does the city by having a robust fertilizer ordinance which they can create and enforce citizens and businesses to follow. This petition requests Naples to enact common-sense fertilizer ordinances with higher standards than the states model and with standards higher than the current ordinance.

We don’t have an algae problem in Naples. We have a nutrient problem. The only way to stop giant algal blooms is to stop nutrients from polluting the water.

Please Read and Sign (and share) this petition if you agree with the following:

August 26, 2018

Dear Naples City Council,

Good day. I am writing to show my support for a strong New Fertilizer Ordinance in the city of Naples, to stand in solidarity with other Florida counties that have adopted strong ordinances, including summer bans and restrictions. Florida’s water is a vital precious environmental resource needed for citizens and the economy to thrive. Unfortunately, our waterways are most commonly impaired from too much nitrogen and phosphorus. Fertilizers contain nitrogen and/or phosphorous -- During the rainy season, summer rains wash these excess nutrients into our lakes, rivers and water bodies, damaging what makes this state so beautiful and impairing our precious resource.

Therefore, a strong Fertilizer Ordinance in Collier County is necessary to ensure we feed our grass responsibly, to prevent these nutrients from entering the water and further degrading it.

The good news is there are many ways to keep our yards beautiful, while also keeping algae-feeding nitrogen and phosphorus out of our waterways.

Summer blend fertilizer formulations, containing iron, and other micro-nutrients, but no nitrogen or phosphorus, are already being used by industry professionals and many varieties are available in retail settings.

As a proud Floridian, I support a regional approach to fertilizer restrictions, which would greatly help in improving water quality and would also make compliance easier for professional applicators. A regional example of an excellent fertilizer ordinance is the one recently adopted by Seminole County, effective February 28, 2017 and began enforcement on October 1, 2017. Naples should very seriously consider adopting an ordinance like that of Seminole County. *One addition to Seminole's provisions that would make compliance easier for homeowners, would be a requirement for retailers to display point-of-sale signage, informing the public of the basic fertilizer restrictions found in the ordinance.

Please find the link to the Seminole ordinance here: http://www.seminolecountyfl.gov/core/fileparse.php/4092/urlt/certified-Final-fertilizer-ordinance.pdf

Also, here is the link to the video they produced to alert the public of the new ordinance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK0XjJYiob0

·Current fertilizer ordinance policies under a new robust ordinance will stay in place which are:
Commercial Applicators must take the Green Industry Best Management Practices training;
No application during identified storm “Watch” or “Warning” periods or when soils are saturated,
Do not leave fertilizer, grass clippings, or landscape trimmings on impervious surfaces (asphalt or concrete) or allow to enter stormwater drains or ditches, wetlands, or water;

The provisions below are to be implemented into a strong, New, Naples Fertilizer Ordinance:

· Complete ban on Glyphosate herbicides or Monsanto's Roundup weed killers in the county. Glyphosate has been studied to both shape dinoflagellate-associated bacterial community while also providing a nutrient source -- namely, phosphorous -- for algal growth. A paper published in 2017 in Frontiers in Microbiology titled, "Glyphosate Shapes a Dinoflagellate-Associated Bacterial Community While Supporting Algal Growth as Sole Phosphorus Source," revealed these relationships. France has banned glyphosate in public parks and will phase out the use of glyphosate herbicides in agriculture and landscaping use over the next 5 years completely. We ask our the city of Naples to protect our citizens as well. There are commercial organic alternatives to glysophate. Switching to renewable organic agriculture in the region would greatly curtail the toxic chemicals as well as reducing the nutrient run-off that's fueling the algae blooms. Also, this ban will make homeowners seek a solution for their yards that uses only natural methods to control weeds, including pulling them by hand. Monsanto’s toxic herbicide glyphosate kills everything except for genetically modified crops, demolishing butterflies’ food supply and decimating monarch populations. We cannot afford inaction.Deemed by The W.H.O as a “Probable Human Carcinogen” and most recently, “Roundup causes Liver Disease in Low Doses” there are hundreds of studies that show harm from glyphosate. It is important to practice Precautionary Principle. Therefore, we call on Commissioners in Collier County to take the precautionary principle to impose a moratorium on glyphosate based herbicides used in our county to protect our children and prevent our people, pets, wildlife and endangered species from being exposed and our waterways and ecosystems from being contaminated. Glyphosate is a probable endocrine disruptor and probable human carcinogen that has already been banned in many cities, counties and countries around the world. There is no acceptable level of use of round up with a glyphosate base in our environment and for this reason we are calling for a ban on glyphosate in the county of Collier.

· Fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorous cannot be applied to turf during the restricted season from June 1st – September 30th. Fertilizers containing Iron, Manganese and other "micro-nutrients" also referred to as "summer blends" can be applied during the restricted season to keep lawns healthy and green (as recommended by Florida Yards Neighborhood/Florida Friendly Landscape Program).

At least 11 states ban phosphorus fertilizer use or sale: Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

In general, these states prohibit phosphorus fertilizer application unless it is for (1) curing a lack of necessary phosphorus, (2) establishing new turf, or (3) repairing turf. Many states exempt agricultural lands and production, commercial or sod farms, gardening, or golf courses from the ban. And many prohibit applying fertilizer (not only phosphorus fertilizer) on impervious, frozen, or saturated surfaces, or within a certain distance of a water body. Inadvertent application on impervious surfaces must be removed or cleaned up. Some states also have phosphorus fertilizer sale restrictions such as separately displaying phosphorus fertilizer and posting cautionary information.

· Fertilizer containing nitrogen that is used during the non-restricted season (October 1st – May 31st) must contain at least 50% or more slow release nitrogen. This slow release nitrogen content will increase to 65%, three (3) years after the adoption of the Fertilizer Ordinance to allow time for educational outreach to residents and retailers.

· Fertilizer containing phosphorus cannot be applied to turf or plants unless a state-certified soil or tissue test verifies that there is a phosphorus deficiency.

· Current fertilizer ordinance to be changed.No fertilizer may be applied within twenty five feet of any pond, lake, stream, canal, or other water bodies, including wetlands. The current ordinance is 10 feet. Violators should be investigated by the Fertilizer task force and fined accordingly.

· Collier County will request all HOA's include the ordinance in their HOA agreements. This can be implemented by involving the Collier Presidents Council.

·Assuring compliance with our county's environment laws needs to be one of Naples primary commitments. In carrying out this responsibility, Collier County will establish a Consumer Fertizer task force who will be an extension of Collier County Code Enforcement. Their goals will be to investigate fertilizer abuse and enforce the ordinance.

· Assuring compliance with our county's enviroment laws a consumer tip line needs to be created by the county. This tip line will allow residents to submit tips anonymously to report and submit evidence of fertilizer violations. In addition to the tip line we request a place for people to submit complaints to Collier County Code Enforcement online and request those complaints be investigated by the Consumer Fertilizer Task force. The fines levied will be used to pay for the task force. Since this last red tide outbreak in 2018 citizens of Collier have changed the way each of us looks at how our own actions can make a difference. Most importantly, the public, is seeing themselves as custodians of the nation's environment, and have become aware of how their actions can affect the health and welfare of our communities. Reports from the public will ultimately serve environmental protection well.

· “Point of Sale” signage requirements, including language which states: "Any business that sells fertilizer shall post a notice provided by the county of Collier stating that the use of lawn and landscape fertilizers is restricted in accordance with this article.”

In addition to the ban, we also request Collier county to create an extension program. Taught by an extension agent, we request Collier county to offer a three-session workshop to offer everything from energy and water conservation to how to create a nature-friendly yard, Participants thru this extension will learn how long to water their yards and gardens, how much fertilizer to use and the nine principals of Florida Friendly Landscaping. First, they have to submit a soil test to make sure we know what kind of grass they have or what kind of soil they will be gardening in. And then, they can get fertilizer recommendations through the extension.

The overall goal of these provisions is to minimize excess fertilizer runoff and protect the County’s natural water resources. I urge you to adopt these provisions into a strong NEW Naples Fertilizer Ordinance. Our Florida waters depend on your leadership.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration in this very important matter and for all that you to for the city of Naples, we are grateful for your efforts.

Best regards,

(Your Name Here)

ADDITIONALLY: After signing and sharing this petition, Please consider taking the time NOW to write your own email to the county officials in regards to this topic as well. You may copy and paste this petition in your email. We need as many people on public record with this petition as possible, folks. Thank you.

Their emails are located here: https://www.naplesgov.com/citycouncil

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The Protect Florida's Waters: Sign to request Naples to have a Robust Fertilizer Ordinance petition to City of Naples Government was written by Rena Sue Marie and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.