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Palm Beach Post: Point of View: Scotts trying to do its part to clean Florida waters

Monday, September 15, 2014

In the nearly 150 years we’ve been here, ScottsMiracle-Gro has worked to fulfill its mission to provide products that allow people to express themselves in the great outdoors – everything from tending gardens and growing produce to cultivating rare flowers and managing their lawns. But this year, we’re doing something different.

With Florida’s waters, especially the lagoon along our east coast, showing signs of significant stress and pollution, we’re stepping up to help. Earlier this year, we announced a $5 million dollar multiyear initiative, focused on research, restoration and education for the Sunshine State.

Our Scotts Smarter Solutions initiative is ambitious, and to create the type of collective impact Florida needs, we’ve created partnerships that bring nontraditional allies together.

Working with the world-renowned scientists at the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA), ScottsMiracle-Gro is investing in ground-breaking research to determine the sources of pollution in the Indian River Lagoon. ORCA’s innovative methodology and technology can provide valuable insight into the sources of pollution in the lagoon, and can also provide a model that can be replicated throughout the state, and beyond, to provide precise data that fuels positive action.

As research works to provide guidance for the future, restoration efforts can provide an immediate positive benefit. On Florida’s west coast, Scotts is working with Tampa Bay Watch, a group that has been dedicated to restoring the bay for over 20 years. Through their Bay Grasses in Classes program, Scotts is providing funds and volunteer support to grow and replant 80,000 saltmarsh plants, enough to restore more than 5 acres around the bay. This program also works to educate local middle and high school students about environmental stewardship, ensuring the next generation is dedicated to caring for the environment.

In essence, the Scotts Smarter Solutions initiative is encompassed by education. Research results and restoration efforts will only take us so far – education turns these into effective practices that help to protect our environment. A significant portion of the initiative is dedicated to education, including the creation of, which aims to serve as a hub of information for Floridians.

Smarter solutions won’t change our water quality or our environment overnight, but it can provide a path to the positive solutions we need.

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