Don't feed the river: Hillsborough should reap benefits of fertilizer ban
By Terry Tomalin
THONOTOSASSA – After more than 20 years of paddling the Hillsborough River, Joe Faulk knows when somebody has been using fertilizer upstream of his Canoe Outpost.
"The water hyacinth and pennywort seem to bloom overnight," said Faulk, the only canoe outfitter on the river. "I can always tell when the water even gets a small dose of nitrogen."
But as of June 1, at least some of that threat has been removed due to a new Tampa ordinance against selling or using lawn fertilizer during the summer rainy season. Advocates know it's not a panacea for the river's problems, but it's one more step in a long fight to save a river that has nearly been split in half by decades of development.