Published November 15, 2011

If you want to know what you can do to help, please read this plea from the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs of which we are a part:

Dear Environmentally Concerned FFGC Members,

Once again … we are challenged to be safeguards of Florida’s waters, our environment, and ultimately our economy. Once again … we are asking for your help and urge you to be involved and active.   

FDEP is briefing the Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC) November 3, 2011 in Tallahassee on their proposed 9/29/2011 Draft Changes to Chapter 62-302 – Florida’s numeric nutrient criteria. Your comments will be accepted prior to December 1.  

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is proposing rules for nutrient levels in Florida waterways which are even weaker than EPA recommendations.  Rules would: 1) allow the continued discharge of sewage, animal manure and fertilizer pollution into most of the state’s water resources; 2) It would keep the burden of prevention and clean-up costs on state and the taxpayer and not on industry polluters; and 3) It would give the state legislature control of the nutrient pollution issue

FDEP argues that “nutrients are unlike any other “pollutant” regulated by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA)… because nutrients are present naturally in aquatic systems”. This is true, but when these natural nutrients are fed by sewage, fertilizer runoff, etc, they unnaturally multiply, like cancer cells, eventually destroying the water body in which they grow. 

In the two years from 2008-10, the number of degraded waterways in Florida have doubled. Our springs and waterways are having algae blooms and show increasing stress from over pumping.  For example, Silver Springs suffered a 29% reduction in flow in recent years).

Comments should briefly state your concerns for the continuing degradation to Florida’s water bodies and rules that would not protect our waters from an unnatural excess of nutrients that would cause even further pollution.  Any personal experience and knowledge of waterways that have received unnatural pollution should be included to strengthen your comments.

For a ton of nutrient information and comments submitted by others go to 

Address your written comments to Mr. Eric Shaw (below) and email to:  Eric Shaw

Mr. Eric Shaw
Environmental Manager
Standards & Assessments Section
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 6511
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400

Be sure to state your name and full address.  Also be sure to include the following in your letters & emails

RE:  Comments on the DEPS’s 9/29/11 Draft Changes to Chapter 62-302, F.A.C. 

Also, if you are a member of FFGC’s Environmental Consultants Council, or other environmental affiliation it is acceptable to state that background information.

Thank you,

Florida Federation of Garden Clubs