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May 30, 2003     Cape Gazette
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May 30, 2003

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, May 30 - June 5, 2003 - 75 Delaware commission tackles urban nutrient manage00nt We all want a lush beautiful lawn, but do we know how much fertilizer our lawns need to achieve it? This is a question that the Delaware Nutrient Manage- ment Commission is urging all landowners (urban, suburban and rural) to answer. Excess nutrient application is not just a rural problem associated with improper agricultural prac- tices. It is a problem that is found in all areas of the state. According to Bill Rohrer, administrator of the Delaware Nutrient Manage- ment Commission, in the Depart- ment of Agriculture, "More than 10,000 tons of commercial fertil- izer are sold to non-agricultural entities, such as homeowners and lawn care companies, in Delaware each year. They then apply this to their lawns, gardens, shrubs, and trees. A residential lot might be less than a quarter of an acre, but there may be hundreds of small lots'in a subdivision. If all of the owners in the development are ap- plying fertilizers improperly, the local groundwater, rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds will become pol- luted due to excess nutrient runoff." To reach these homeowners, the Delaware Nutrient Management Commission is partnering with the Department of Agriculture, the Center for the Inland Bays, the Department of Natural Resources Nitrogen pollution is a serious problem Air pollution emissions and wastewater releases are the lead- ing causes of nitrogen pollution to forests, streams and coastal waters of the northeastern United States, according to a study published in the April issue of "BioScience." Nitrogen pollution continues to be a serious problem for the north- east forests and streams despite legislative measures, according to the study conducted by a team of leading scientists from Mid-At- lantic and New England environ- mental research institutions in- cluding the University of Mary- land Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). These same problems exist in the Chesapeake Bay, said Mark Castor, an associ- ate professor at the UMCES Ap- palachiari Laboratory and one of 12 researchers in the study. Funded witha grant from the Hubbard Brook Research Founda- tion, the nitrogen study synthe- sized data on the sources, effects and management of nitrogen pol- lution in order to evaluate possible solutions. Impacts on forests and watersheds cited by the authors include diminished forest produc- tivity (up to 14 percent in some ar- eas) due to nitrogen-induced ozone formation, and nitrogen- driven pulses of acidity that im- pact approximately 41 percent of lakes in the Adirondack region of New York and 15 percent in New England. "By quantifying all the sources of nitrogen in the watersheds that drain into the eight estuaries of the northeast - the ultimate receiving waters for much of the nitrogen produced in the region's water- sheds - we were able to predict the effects of specific policy options," Castro said. He stressed the study confirms that excess nitrogen can lead to over-enrichment of coastal waters, a phenomenon that has been shown to deplete oxygen levels and degrade critical sea grass habitat. "In all the watersheds we exam- ined, airborne emissions of nitro- gen and nitrogen discharged from wastewater treatment plants were the overwhelming sources of ni- trogen pollution to forests and coastal waters in the northeast," Castro said. According to the study, up- grades to wastewater treatment plants using currently available technology could reduce nitrogen Create your own bonsai at June 7 workshop Rob King, former president of the Brandywine Bonsai Society, will join Cate Bryson in leading a demonstration and hands-on workshop on the art of bonsai from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 7, at the Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH) in Wilming- ton. The fee includes a tree sapling, bonsai scissors and training pot. The cost for DCH members is $45 and for nonmembers, $65. class size is limited to 15. To reserve a place, call 302-658-6262 by May 30. Bonsai is the "art of dwarfing trees or plants and developing them into an aesthetically appeal- ing shape by growing, pruning and training them in containers according to proscribed tech- niques," according to experts at the Bonsai website, loading to coastal waters, such as Long Island Sound, by as much as 57 percent, a level that would ameliorate the low oxygen condi- tions experienced in the Sound an- nually. This study adds to the growing body of evidence con- cerning the severity of nitrogen pollution nationwide and the need for policy reform to address the problem. "Solving the nitrogen problem nationally will require a multi- pronged approach. We now know that in the northeast, two of these approaches must be reduced air emissions and improved waste- water treatment," said Kathy Fal- Ion Lambert, executive director of the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation (HBRF). The data used in the study were collected over a two-year period from 10 sites throughout New England, including the Chesa- peake Bay. Castro and several other re- searchers are conducting a sepa- rate study of nitrogen pollution in Chesapeake Bay estuaries and forests, which should be complet- ed late summer. UMCES is the state's premier higher education institute for en- vironmental science and an inter- national model for coastal studies. Its three laboratories and outreach program are strategically located to cover critical parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. : - : 45-5853" MON.- SAT.- 8 AM- 5 PM. SUN. - 10 AM- 4 PM Lawson's Produce The Center is located one block northeast of Trolley Square and Delaware Avenue on North DuPont Street in Wilmington. and Environmental Control, Delaware Tributary Action Teams, and the University of Delaware to address the problems associated with urban and subur- ban nutrient management through education initiatives. About 175,000 copies of the brochure, "Managing Nutrients for your Turf Grass and Lawns," have been produced and funded by the partnership. This brochure will educate homeowners on their role in pro- tecting the environment and pro- vide technical guidance on fertil- izer application. They are avail- able for distribution. Copies may be obtained from the Department of Agriculture, the County Con- servation Districts, and the Coop- erative Extension office in each county. The brochure is also available online at ents/nm_broch.htm A list of lawn care Best Man- agement Practices and a Nutrient Management Plan checklist has been developed and approved by the Commission. Lawns greater than 10 acres that receive fertiliz- er are affected the Nutrient Man- agement Law and need a formal- ized plan. Small land owners, though not covered by the law, are urged to do their part for water quality by having their soil tested and applying only as much fertil- izer as tests indicate is needed. Remember, more is not always better when it comes to lawn nu- trients. Also, the Commission has met with major lawn Care companies and smaller lawn care companies to address nutrient management practices for lawn in Delaware. Bud O'Neill, a commissioner rep- resenting the lawn and golf course industry said, "The lawn care companies in Delaware have been very cooperative with the Com- mission and are helping by fine- tuning their nutrient management practices." For more information, contact the Delaware Department of Agri- culture Nutrient Management Section at 302-698-4500 or by email at @ SUSSEX COUNTY'S BEST KEPT SECRET ..... Presents Our 3rd Annual CRAFT FAIR Saturday, June 7, 2003 8 AM-2 PM (Rain Date: Sunday, June 8, 2003; 8 AM-2 PM ) Craffers from around the Mid-Atlantic area will be here to show off their many talents. Come and see the wide variety of unusual and useful handiwork. , Quality Nursery Stock. Trees, , Mulch (Bulk or Bagged) . Shrubs, Perennials, Grasses , Aquatic Plants, Annuals Herbs o Stone & Wall Stone , Seeds o Fertilizer. Statuary & Gifts DIRECTIONS: Off Rt. 24; turn North at traffic light (Mt. Joy Road) By Nanticoke Museum and Catholic Church. Travet 3/4 miles and turn left onto the first blacktop road (Cordrey Rd.) EAST COAST GARDEN CEN- TER is located 1/2 mile on the left. ] ..... 1 w Mulch Baooed- red, black, cedar, pine & hardwood starting at $2.50 Bulk- red, pine & hardwood starting at $22.00 cu. yd. TopSoil Bulk & bagged "Landscapers Welcome" Bistro lawn furniture, tents, patio umbrellas, Toland flags Decorative wreaths, country- baskets, Old Virginia Candles - toppers & cappers Selection of Perennials LOCAL STRAWBERRIES & ASPARAGUS ARE HERE# Spring bedding plants & flowers