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Fertilizer & Pesticide Awareness

Organization(s) Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2
Project Description Long Islanders love their lawns and do their best to make them healthy. But studies suggest that many may be going overboard in their pursuit of an idealized lawn; especially in over-applying fertilizers in a way that overloads the local marine environment. EPA Region 2 and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) have teamed up to address the problem with a public awareness campaign that encourages homeowners to limit their use of lawn care products to reduce their impact on groundwater, local water bodies, and the aquatic life that inhabit them.

Many water bodies in and around Long Island, including the Long Island Sound, have water quality problems. Even the relatively pristine Peconic Estuary between the east end's north and south forks is showing the stresses of pollution. Fertilizers and pesticides can contribute to those problems. When homeowners over-apply or incorrectly apply fertilizers and pesticides, the rain washes them into groundwater, streams, lakes, the Sound, and the bays. Too much fertilizer in water can negatively impact the food web and cause nuisance algae to grow. The algae use up the oxygen that fish need to survive. Pesticides in water can directly harm fish and aquatic plants.

EPA Region 2 Director of Environmental Planning and Protection Walter Mugdan, the Nature Conservancy, and Mineola Mayor Jack Martins unveiled the new fertilizer and pesticide awareness posters at a ceremony in Mineola in late August. The posters will appear in all Long Island Railroad trains in September.

The key message in EPA's fertilizer and pesticide awareness campaign is to limit homeowner use of chemical lawn care products and, when they are used to ensure they are applied properly and effectively with minimum impact on the environment.

More Info www.epa.gov/region2/greenscaping
Project Contact
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Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Curriculum Development
Activity Keywords Training/workshops
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 15 No. 2, Fall 2005 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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