Water quality advocates are expressing concern over a pause on fertilizer bans, fearing its impact on state waterways.
The greater Tampa Bay area has been dealing with issues related to water quality, particularly the decline of seagrass, since 2016.
Experts and advocates are worried about the future consequences if common-sense measures to restrict fertilizer usage are rolled back.
One notable development is a new provision in the state bill that could potentially affect water quality.
This provision, if implemented, would prevent local governments from enacting or updating fertilizer bans.
The University of Florida has been conducting research on fertilizer use and its impact on water quality.
On Monday, the president chopped up the budget negotiation proposal, and the provision on fertilizer bans was among the things that got cut.
While some argue that the provision is a compromise, water quality advocates argue that it is not a good idea.
They believe that although it may benefit a few farmers, it would harm the overall health of the state’s waterways.
Concerns over excessive nutrients, algal blooms, and negative effects on aquatic life are significant factors driving opposition to the provision.
Mike Parsons, a researcher at Florida Gulf Coast University, has been studying the impact of fertilizer use on water quality for years.
He raises concerns about excessive nutrients in water leading to algal blooms and fish kills.
Parsons and other advocates argue that the proposal, if it becomes law, would have detrimental effects on the state’s water quality.
The potential consequences of this provision are significant, and the responsibility falls on citizens to ensure that officials are aware of the concerns.
The University of Florida has allocated $6 million for further research on the topic, including studying the relationship between nutrients and the environment.
The focus will be on conducting a literature review and examining studies that address urban fertilizer use and its impact on waterways.
Advocates emphasize the need for more research and understanding of the consequences before implementing such a provision.
They believe that existing data and evidence are insufficient to justify the potential risks associated with this decision.
Water quality advocates urge citizens to voice their concerns and engage with officials to protect the state’s waterways.