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Martin County leaders working to better educate residents on fertilizer use

Posted at 5:32 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 04:50:25-05

It's a way to help prevent algae in our waterways: limiting or banning usage of fertilizer.

Becky Harris, who lives along the St. Lucie River, has always done her part to try and keep the water clean.

"I don't use anything to make the grass grow," said Harris.

Martin County leaders recently voted to not extend the county's fertilizer ban from four to six months. The county fertilizer ordinance goes into effect on June 1 and lasts until Sept. 30.

Stuart city leaders approved an extension earlier this year.

"On paper it might look nice to extend a fertilizer application and practice. We feel the best value would be how to better educate people," said John Maehl, Ecosystem Manager for Martin County.

He says a ban extension could increase potential erosion and be worse for the environment.

Maehl says education is key, so the county is creating a new position which in part focuses on informing retailers.

"Provide literature to retailers to hand out," said Maehl.

Becky would like to see more enforcement on top of education.

"Strict reductions into our watersheds," said Harris.