What is OPC doing about the issues related to fertilizer and the health of our waterways?
OPC has been committed to reducing the use of nitrate and phosphate lawn fertilizers that contribute approximately 16 percent of the excess nitrogen in our waters. Our concern is that more and more Orleans lawns are using irrigation systems that enhance the movement of nitrates and phosphates into our ponds and estuaries. Many of the lawn companies are still promoting green irrigated lawns using traditional bent grass species such as Kentucky Bluegrass. An immediate priority is educating homeowners that Cape Cod lawns are naturally dormant when we have less rain and that installing irrigation systems may keep your lawn green BUT also contributes to the pollution of our ponds and estuaries.
OPC has distributed GREEN TIPS to garden centers such as Snow’s and Agway in our effort to better inform the consumers of lawn care products and their impact on our waters. Consider using native tall fescue grasses and white clover that do not require irrigation or commercial fertilizer. If we limit our watering and use of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers, our water will improve. We may also want to consider having the Cape ban the sale of nitrate and phosphorus lawn fertilizers in our fragile environment.