Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Flamingos flock to St. Petersburg City Hall over water quality protection

ST. PETERSBURG — The city has seen its share of lobbyists, but none quite like the ones that arrived Thursday morning.

A flock of plastic flamingos grazed on the City Hall lawn before today's 8:30 a.m. City Council meeting. They were planted there by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, which is objecting to efforts by state lawmakers to restrict local governments from regulating the use and sale of nitrogen and phosphorous-based fertilizers.

"It's their debut," Nanette O'Hara, the outreach coordinator for the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, said of the pink birds. "It's hard to drive by without noticing them. We just want to bring attention to this issue."

The birds make up a campaign called "Be Floridian" that explains how excess nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers pollute our freshwater bodies, beaches and marine life. It highlights city and county ordinances that protect waterways. The local laws could be eliminated if state lawmakers approve bills that remove local authority from fertilizer oversight.

The Pinellas County's fertilizer ordinance, enacted in January 2010, supersedes the city's ordinance and is more restrictive. The county's ordinance bans fertilizer sales from June 1 to Sept. 30; requires training and certification of those who apply fertilizers commercially; mandates training of lawn maintenance employees; requires that granular fertilizers with nitrogen contain at least 50 percent slow-release nitrogen; and prohibits application of fertilizers if heavy rains are forecast.

City Council members were scheduled to approve a resolution objecting to the bills proposing to remove local oversight. The flamingos, O'Hara said, hopefully will help.

Flamingos flock to St. Petersburg City Hall over water quality protection 04/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 7, 2011 12:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. William March: Two Democrats appear to lead challenge of U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross


    Half a dozen Democrats have filed for the primary to challenge U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, but so far, only two have mounted substantial financial campaigns — Andrew Learned of Bloomingdale and James Gregory "Greg" Pilkington of Indian Lake Estates in Polk County.

    Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, faces a challenge from Democrats hoping to take advantage of voter dissatisfaction with Republican President Donald Trump. [Times file]
  2. Gov. Scott says decisions on Confederate monuments should be left to the democratic 'process'


    Gov. Rick Scott this morning avoided directly answering whether Confederate monuments should be taken down, saying the decision should be part of a democratic "process."

    Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.
  3. A 5,000-year-old stone carving may be the world's first drawing of an eclipse


    An unassuming grass-covered stone mound outside of Dublin, Ireland, may be home to the world's oldest visual representation of a solar eclipse.

    This 5,000-year-old stone carving in Meath, Ireland, predating Stonehenge by at least 1,000 years, may be the world's oldest surviving depiction of an eclipse. [Courtesy of Michael]
  4. Ex-Bucs WR Vincent Jackson highlights Kriseman's pick for Manhattan Casino restaurant


    Mayor Rick Kriseman picked a Floribbean-themed restaurant to highlight turning a new page in the historic Manhattan Casino, which has been shuttered for more than a year after the city …

    Kriseman makes his choice on a new tenant for the iconic Manhattan Casino: Floribbean cuisine
  5. Man arrested after authorities say he left kids in hot car at Publix

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A Wesley Chapel man faces charges of child neglect after authorities say he left three children in a vehicle in the afternoon heat while he went into Publix to buy diapers.

    Oladele Iyunade