Sanibel Island Fertilizer Ordinance


While not the only source of excess nutrients in our local waters, reducing our personal contribution to pollution is an important step in improving water quality.

For those who choose to fertilize, the Ordinance requires the use of slow release nitrogen and low phosphorus fertilizers.

From October 1st through June 30th, the following conditions apply to fertilizer use:



Total Nitrogen = 20% or less
Slow Release Nitrogen = 50% or more

Total Phosphorus = 2% or less


  • Up to one pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet per application
  • Up to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet per year
  • Up to 6 applications per year

Fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus CANNOT:

  • Be applied during the rainy season (July 1 through September 30)
  • Be applied within 25 feet of a body of water
  • Be applied to impervious (hard) surfaces, such as roads, driveways and sidewalks
  • Be dumped into a storm drain

Note: These restrictions do not apply to fertilizers containing secondary or micronutrients only.

The Sanibel Fertilizer Ordinance (07-003) was adopted by City Council on March 6, 2007. On September 4, 2007, City Council adopted Ordinance 07-012 amending Ordinance 07-003. This amendment reduced the required slow release content of fertilizer applied on Sanibel from 70% to 50%. To view the complete Fertilizer Ordinance and Amendment, click here .