On Thursday, the City of Miami Commission unanimously passed an ordinance that will significantly reduce fertilizer pollution from reaching our waterways. Miami Waterkeeper worked closely with Commissioner Ken Russell and the City's Office of Resilience and the Sierra Club to develop the ordinance which aims to lessen nutrient inputs to our waterways and Biscayne Bay. Excess nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus found in fertilizer, can lead to algae blooms which turn the water green, smell bad, and can adversely impact wildlife and their habitat.
This ordinance would eliminate fertilizer application during the rainy summer months when fertilizer is not absorbed well by plants and mostly runs off into waterways. This ordinance joins over 90 ordinances like it throughout the state that seeks to regulate fertilizer application, including other municipalities that recently passed similar ordinances working with Miami Waterkeeper, such as the Village of Key Biscayne, Village of Islamorada, and North Bay Village. The ordinance also mandates that fertilizers must contain 0% Phosphorus and 50% slow release Nitrogen. The new law also requires a mandatory 15-foot setback for fertilizer application from any waterway or storm drain.