Bill Passed by Legislature Would Prevent New Fertilizer Restrictions

Staff Report
TALLAHASSEE — Senate Bill 2502, passed by the legislature and awaiting Gov. Ron DeSantis' signature, will prevent Florida cities or counties from putting any new limits on the use of lawn fertilizer for the next year. The last-minute addition to a broader bill was part of budget negotiations.

The bill will also earmark $250,000 for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to "evaluate the effectiveness" of summer fertilizer bans, suggesting that either a permanent prohibition on new restrictions or even legislation preempting existing ones might be on the horizon.

Local governments, including Manatee County, often restrict fertilizer use during the rainiest months to limit the amount of nutrient-rich runoff in local waterways, so as not to feed algal blooms, including red tide. 

The legislation was supported by all Manatee County representatives with Senator Jim Boyed (R), Rep. Will Robinson (R), and Rep. Tommy Gregory (R) voting in support of the bill.

Reader Comments
MAY 10, 2023  •  Where are the good Republicans to stand up and run? We know Democrats can't win here. What in the hell, GOP? You are killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.
william e. moore
MAY 10, 2023  •  our representatives could care less about us. they care mostly for themselves & their big donors to their campaigns. wake up voters before we are completely under their control & soon be goosestepping like nazi germany of the 30's
Richard J Correnti
MAY 10, 2023  •  Regarding the comment about IFAS funding from the fertilizer industry, I would note that merely 2.6% of IFAS funding in 2022 came from ALL industry contributions,...a little over $10M out of a budget of $402M. Obviously, the fertilizer industry contribution was only a small part of that. Thus, influencing the outcome of any research IFAS does in this area is quite unlikely. If we can't trust university research centers to produce research that's objective, we're in trouble. Some of the best research done each year comes out of these centers in colleges of agriculture across the country, and the one at UF stands out among them.
MAY 10, 2023  •  This is why we need to vote these "representtives" out.
Dr G
MAY 10, 2023  •  Oh, you can bet on the outcome of that study. IFAS, who is charged with performing the study, is heavily funded by the fertilizer industry.
Kathern Groulx
MAY 10, 2023  •  This why we need to get the Right to clean water Amendment on the ballot and passed.
MAY 10, 2023  •  Too much fertilizer is already going into our bays, presently, because of the lack of oversight by Manatee County. Developments on the water are fertilizing their St. Augustine grasses right next to the seawalls, ignoring the ordinance to stay back 10ft. Fertilizers going into the bay exacerbate red tides, keeping them here longer. We could end up like the east coast where water quality was impacted so badly that they are devoid of sea grasses now causing manatees to starve and die. Our own sea grasses have diminished because of algae blooms here, too. Fishing is already not as good in Manatee County because of so many algae blooms. What is it going to do to make Floridians speak out and demand that our water quality is our priority?
MAY 10, 2023  •  Again our fearless leaders want to throw away our biggest asset in Manatee County- clean water in our bays and the gulf. They speak like they want to protect our natural resources then vote to annihilate them. Time to vote them out.
MAY 10, 2023  •  Never mind, just Republicans racing to the bottom. Never mind science, the environment or local control of government.
Cat L
MAY 10, 2023  •  I hope this isn't another one of those things where people will pay the "right" scientist to say what they want them to say, so they can make certain their donor has what they want.