The article contains some great information:
Grassy turf, not farmland, is the most dominant crop in the bay watershed. There were almost 1.3 million acres of planted turf in Maryland in 2009, compared with 1.5 million acres of all other crops, says the study by the Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center.
Yet it is the least regulated of the state's major crops.
Pollution in the bay increases when nutrients wash into its waters from snow and rainfall. And many lawn fertilizers have an excess of two problematic nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorous.
And the 33 page report that the article references does have some great information about how our actions, as property owners, affect the water quality of the Bay. It then goes on to list recommendations for what changes could be made to regulate fertilizer use in home landscapes. Words such as dictate, ban, require, enforce, and prohibit are used.
The question that came to my mind is, do we really want and/or need more laws to get us to do the right thing in our landscapes? Or are we, as property owners, responsible and smart enough to make our own decisions?
My attitude has long been that we each need to take responsibility for our own share of the planet, but I admit that I'm a bit of an idealist.
The article goes on to quote Senator Cardin of Maryland as saying:
“All 17 million of us who live in the watershed need to be part of the restoration effort,” said Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin(D-Md.). Not just wastewater facilities, municipalities and farmers, he said, but “homeowners and businesses also need to be part of the solution by reducing the chemicals we put on our lawns and other green spaces.”
The question is, are we responsible enough to make the right decisions on our own? Or do we need to wait for someone to make the decisions for us?
You can download the full 33 page report, Urban Fertilizers and the Chesapeake Bay here. And then you can let me know what you decide to do with your share of the planet.
Other posts about "shoulds" in the garden:
Should anyone else be able to tell you how you "should" garden?
"Shoulding" all over the place
Related article: Scott's to remove phosphorous in fertilizer