At the request of its Policy Board, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) coordinated four workshops on residential fertilizer use guidelines from April 8 – June 10, 2008. The intent was to develop regionally appropriate guidelines that could be incorporated into a local ordinance, should a local government elect to do so. It is hoped that implementation of fertilizer application guidelines specific for this region may reduce stormwater runoff pollutant loads to Tampa Bay – a key goal of TBEP’s overall nitrogen reduction strategy. This would support local government efforts to meet regulatory requirements to reduce nutrient loading in designated Impaired Waters of the Tampa Bay watershed.

Several regional recommendations were developed from these workshops, summarized in a final report (TBEP 2008), and subsequently presented to the TBEP’s Management and Policy Boards for adoption at their August 22, 2008 meetings. At these meetings, the TBEP Management and Policy Boards endorsed the regional recommendations developed through the stakeholder workgroup meetings, including the June 1 - Sept. 30 rainy season ban on non-agricultural nitrogen fertilizer applications.

Consequently, the TBEP Policy Board also directed staff to develop a technical background document summarizing the relative contribution of non-agricultural fertilizer application in the Tampa Bay watershed and provide estimates (best available based on existing literature) of potential nitrogen load reductions associated with implementation of the application recommendations.

Below are TBEP technical documents relevant to the development of regional fertilizer recommendations for Tampa Bay.

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