Surf City joins Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom and Harvey Cedars in adopting a fertilizer ordinance. Beach Haven is currently drafting one.
Excess fertilizer runoff into the bay damages the bay. The ordinance chapter is called “Chemical Application Requirements” which regulates the use of fertilizers especially those high in phosphorus. Phosphorus is less desirable than nitrogen because nitrogen-based fertilizer is available in slow release formulas and are not as a big of a problem that propagate algae blooms in the bay.
The ordinance will hopefully lesson the effects of chemicals that get washed into the local waters. Some common sense points are: Don’t fertilize in the winter when melted snow washes the chemicals out to the bay. Don’t leave fertilizer products outside where rain can contaminate runoff.
To prevent excess fertilizer and runoff, feed the soil by working compost and plant food thoroughly into the soil before you plant. It makes polluting run-off just about impossible.
Compost is available at the Ocean County Recycling Center, on Recovery Road off Route 72 in Manahawkin. It is available to Ocean County residents. Bring your own containers and a shovel. Top soil, peat moss or mushroom soil or a combination can be used instead of compost.
Surf City’s code enforcement is handled through its police department. The borough’s penalty code provides for fines ranging from $100 to $2,000 determined by the municipal judge.