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Is Florida’s “Bone Valley” The Culprit in Algae Blooms?Posted 1.28.2016

“Bone what” or “Bone where” is an often asked question? For starters, the Bone Valley is a region of central Florida, encompassing portions of present day Hardee, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Polk counties, in which phosphate is mined for use in the production of agricultural and landscape fertilizer. Florida currently contains the largest known deposits of phosphate in the United States. The sources of the element phosphorous in Florida “phosphates” are the skeletons of pre-historic aquatic life from the time that our state was submerged beneath the ocean’s surface.

On the “plus” side phosphate is a nutrient that’s vital to all living things and is found naturally in our food, our water and our bodies. Florida’s rich phosphate deposits are a vital link in the world’s food chain and a key ingredient in crop nutrients.

On the “minus” side, phosphate rich landscape fertilizers which find wide use to beautify our lawns, parks and golf courses may through improper application procedures enter our waterways. The same phosphate nutrients vital to agriculture and to humankind are likewise vital to the unwanted growth of undesirable algae in ponds and lakes.

Property owners, landscapers, and golf course maintenance personnel can minimize phosphate pollution of waterways and resulting algae growth by avoiding careless and unnecessary application of fertilizer into ponds and lakes. In addition the deposition of phosphate fertilizer laden grass clippings into waterways is to be avoided. Let’s keep phosphate fertilizers on our greenery rather than in our waterways! If you have any questions about phosphates in your pond visit our website or call us at (813) 662-0800