On Long Island, fertilizer leaching into groundwater is the second largest source of nitrogen pollution. The Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) initiative will evaluate the effectiveness of existing strategies to minimize the impact that excess nitrogen from fertilizers is having on Long Island’s waterbodies. LINAP will also determine if additional fertilizer management strategies might be valuable in some or all watersheds to achieve nitrogen load reductions.
LINAP has a standing Fertilizer Management Workgroup comprised of members of the various sectors including landscapers, fertilizer manufactures, golf courses, environmental groups, and state and county government. The workgroup came together to help develop recommendations for best practices that would balance residents’ interest in having a green and healthy lawn with the immediate need to reduce nitrogen loads to Long Island’s waterbodies. The workgroup promotes dialogue and information exchange.
Current Workgroup Activities
The Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan Fertilizer Management Workgroup met several times to discuss the best management practices for turf grass fertilizers. The series of meetings provided a forum for healthy discussion and led to a package of turf grass fertilizer recommendations that help consumers care for their lawns while lessening their environmental impacts.
These recommendations are available for download.
Fertilizer Fact Sheets
Fact sheets have been developed from the information gathered from the workgroup. The purpose of these fact sheets is to give people additional information to help them care for their lawns while protecting the local environment. A fact sheet on Fertilizer Application Timing and another on Managing Irrigation are available for download
A set of fertilizer workgroup meetings were held in June 2017 with four key sectors/industries: golf courses, landscapers, fertilizer manufacturers, and agriculture. The purpose of the meetings was to examine the results of the fertilizer workgroup questionnaires and review initiatives by each sector to reduce fertilizer nitrogen use.
Notes from each sector meeting are available for download below. Please note that these notes capture, to the best of our ability, the statements made, and opinions voiced at these meetings. The purpose of posting these notes is to ensure transparency in the LINAP workgroup process. These notes should not be used as a reference document. The statements in these documents are not necessarily supported or endorsed by NYSDEC or LIRPC.
Following the first workgroup meeting in December 2016, questionnaires corresponding with fertilizer topics listed in the LINAP scope were completed by workgroup members. Summaries of the responses to each questionnaire are available for download: