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Orlando Sentinel: Protecting our water

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

As a civil servant, my greatest responsibility is to enact policies that are fair and make the lives of those I serve better. No matter what issue or regulation we are debating, it is important to have factual evidence before enacting a policy. In very few cases, we are lucky enough to rely on definitive, scientific proof to inform us.

Protecting the water in Brevard County, and across the state, is paramount. It is essential for life and our environment, and it affects us economically. Our efforts to protect it should be based on the latest and most accurate science. Fortunately, our Florida Department of Environmental Protection commissioned research we can use to educate ourselves and develop sound policies on this issue.

Funded through FDEP and conducted over three years at the University of Florida‘s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, this recently released research sheds new light on one of the sources of water pollution: nutrient leaching. The findings show that properly fertilizing turf grass during the growing season creates the healthy root structure needed for grass to more efficiently absorb nutrients. This means using fertilizer the right way, at the right time, will help to reduce the amount of nutrients — like nitrogen — that end up in Florida’s water.

I applaud the FDEP for undertaking this project and working to supply every level of government with the data needed to make the best possible decisions for the people of Florida.

Andy Anderson chair, Brevard County commission

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