An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

SBEP Promotes Use of Slow-Release Fertilizers to Protect Sarasota Bay

SARASOTA, FL – The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) encourages residents to use fertilizers with slow-release nitrogen if they plan to fertilize their lawn or flower beds anytime in May. Slow-release products (also called controlled release or timed release) feed your lawn or plants gradually and for a longer period of time. They also help keep our local environment healthy since they are more easily absorbed by plants and less likely to become stormwater pollution. Excess fertilizer ends up being picked up by stormwater runoff and transported through local tributaries and storm pipes into Sarasota Bay waters.

SBEP encourages residents to not fertilize at all during the summer months from June through September. Another Bay-friendly suggestion is to use products without phosphorus since most soil already has an abundance of phosphorus.

The SBEP focus on Bay-friendly practices is part of the Be Floridian fertilizer education campaign sponsored by Tampa Bay Estuary Program and other partners including SBEP. The idea behind the Be Floridian fertilizer education campaign is that many lawn care practices in other regions of the U.S. are not good for Florida lawns or water bodies. Learn more about Bay-friendly practices at and