Environmental Sciences

Fertilizer Ordinance

On December 15, 2008, the Town Council of Fort Myers Beach passed an ordinance that regulates the usage of fertilizer by property owners and commercial operators. This ordinance will help protect the Gulf of Mexico and Estero Bay by reducing the amount of nutrients that enter the water from runoff, and excessive or improper fertilizer application. Town staff may pursue enforcement for any persons found violating this ordinance after June 12, 2009.

To view and download the important provisions of this ordinance, please click the link below:
Town of Fort Myers Beach Fertilizer Ordinance

Why is reducing fertilizer use in my yard important?
Wetland, estuarine, and marine systems are very sensitive to changes in nutrient levels. Increase in nutrient levels from human activities can greatly increase algal blooms, such as red drift algae and red tide. Reducing fertilizer usage will reduce the amount of nutrients entering the natural systems from Fort Myers Beach.

What Types of Fertilizer is allowed on Fort Myers Beach?
Fertilizer must contains less than 2% phosphorus in order to be used on lawns and other plant species. Fertilizer cannot contain more than 20% nitrogen with no less than 50% of that as slow release nitrogen.

How should I apply fertilizer to my lawn?
No more than 1 pound of nitrogen can be applied per 1,000 square feet per application . Fertilizer cannot be applied within three feet (3’) of any waterbody. Deflector shields are required when using any spreaders for broadcasting fertilizer and must deflect fertilizer away from water bodies.

When should I apply fertilizer to my lawn?
Fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus cannot be applied to lawns and/or landscape plants June 1 – September 30. Fertilizer cannot be applied to any area more than four (4) times in one year. Nitrogen is naturally present in rainfall. Since Florida receives most of its rain during the summer, your lawn and landscaping receives enough nitrogen during the summer. Especially if slow release fertilizer is applied in the spring and again in the fall and/or winter



Additional Resources
Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program
Customizable Water Quality Graphs
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Lee County Department of Health Beach Conditions
Lee County Government
Mote Marine Laboratory Beach Conditions Report
NOAA- Harmful Algal Bloom Forecasting System
Real Time Water Quality Data 

South Florida Water Management District
Turtle Time, Inc.