Fertilizer can promote a healthy, vibrant lawn, but applying too much or applying it incorrectly can cause chemical runoff that pollutes the ground and surface water.
This causes harmful algae blooms that choke out seagrass, which is the main food source for manatees, according to a Pasco County news release.
More than 1,100 manatees died in Florida last year, many due to starvation from the lack of seagrass, the release says.
Harmful chemical runoff is most likely during the rainy season — June through September — and the resulting algae blooms also can cause flooding.
Pasco County offers these fertilizer application tips that can help to protect the environment:
• Follow package directions to avoid over-fertilizing.
•Avoid spreading fertilizer on sidewalks, streets and gutters.
• Don’t apply fertilizer within 10 feet of any body of water.
• Don’t apply fertilizer ahead of expected flooding or tropical storms.
For more information, please visit KeepPascoBeautiful.org, and click on Programs, Fertilizer Awareness.
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