The landscape in front of City Hall will change dramatically when a flock of flamingos mysteriously appears prior to the Council Meeting on Thursday, April 7 at 8:30 a.m.
The flamingos, part of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program’s “Be Floridian” campaign, are part of a public awareness campaign to educate customers about the effects of excess nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers to our waters, beaches and marine life. The campaign, done in partnership with Pinellas County, highlights new city and county ordinances now in effect.
The Pinellas County’s fertilizer ordinance, enacted in January 2010, supersedes the city’s ordinance and is more restrictive. The county’s ordinance bans fertilizer sales from June 1 to September 30; requires mandatory training and certification of those who apply fertilizers commercially; requires training of lawn maintenance employees; requires that granular fertilizers with nitrogen must contain at least 50% slow release nitrogen; and prohibits application of fertilizers if heavy rains are forecast.
However, Florida state Senate and House bills introduced as part of this year’s state legislative session seek to preempt local government authority that would negate steps St. Petersburg and Pinellas County have already taken. City Council members will consider a resolution Thursday requesting the Florida Legislature to refrain from adopting such legislation and to allow the city to take measures as it sees necessary to improve water quality of our bays, creeks and open waters. A copy of the proposed resolution is attached.