New fertilizer ordinance in effect in Volusia
The Volusia County Council has adopted a summertime fertilizer ban and initiated other restrictions that will protect the county’s waterways.
Ordinance 2014-06, which took effect July 27, applies to all homes and businesses in Volusia County, except those in Deltona and DeBary, which have their own fertilizer ordinances. Gardens and compost are exempt.
The new ordinance includes these provisions:
• The application of fertilizers containing nitrogen or phosphorous is prohibited from June 1 through Sept. 30 of each year.
• Fertilizer may not be applied within 15 feet of water bodies.
• The application of fertilizers containing phosphorous is prohibited unless a deficiency is verified.
• Fertilizer containing nitrogen may be applied only between Oct. 1 and May 31 and must contain no less than 50 percent slow-release nitrogen.
The ordinance was passed in response to a growing environmental crisis in the state’s waterways, particularly the Indian River Lagoon system, where algal blooms and animal deaths have raised concerns. Twenty-eight other local governments along the lagoon system have adopted strict rules for fertilizer use.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nutrient pollution is one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems. It is partially caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the air and water.
Nutrient pollution can lead to algal blooms that clog waterways and harm water quality, food resources and habitats. It also can decrease oxygen in the water, leading to fish illnesses and deaths.
According to the EPA, some algal blooms are harmful to humans because they produce elevated toxins and bacterial growth that can make people sick if they come into contact with polluted water, consume tainted fish or shellfish, or drink contaminated water.
The University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences offers tests for phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium content in soil. Submission forms and directions are available at http://soilslab.ifas.ufl.edu/ESTL%20Home.asp.
The county’s Environmental Management Division and University of Florida/Volusia County Extension are planning a public awareness campaign to educate residents and professional fertilizer applicators about the new requirements. In the meantime, they encourage residents to use extended-release fertilizer formulas in April, May and October, when they are the most effective.
For more information about fertilizer use and soil testing, call the extension at 386-822-5778. Visit www.volusia.org/fertilizer-ordinance to view the ordinance and see a list of summer-safe fertilizers.
Allen Chapel celebrating Family and Friends weekend
Allen Chapel AME Church, 580 George W. Engram Blvd. will celebrate its Family and Friends Day weekend Aug. 9-10.
The weekend kicks off at 11 a.m. on Saturday with a church picnic on the church ground, which is free. The community is invited to attend.
On Sunday at 9:45 a.m., the Rev. Dr. Frank Madison Reid III, senior pastor of the Bethel AME Church in Baltimore Md., will be the guest preacher.
For more information, call the church at 386-255-1195.
Candidates to speak at Aug. 12 Democratic Club meeting
The Democratic Club of Northeast Volusia County will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, at Piccadilly Cafeteria, Volusia Mall, Daytona Beach.
Several candidates, including State Rep. Dwayne Taylor, U.S. Congressional candidate David Cox and candidate for the State House District 27 Bob Garcia have been invited to speak.
The candidates agree to a Q&A time following their presentations. At 6 p.m., members and guests will enjoy a light supper at their own expense. All Democrats, including visitors, are welcome to attend.
Information is available by calling 386-265-5084.
Human Services office to host public meeting
Volusia County’s Human Services office will host a public meeting to provide information about services provided, identify gaps in service, and elect a community representative and alternate to serve on the Human Services Advisory Board.
The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, at the Woman’s Club, 403 Magnolia St., New Smyrna Beach.
For more information, contact Susan Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-775-5204, ext. 21239.