Water-Related News

Tampa, Swiftmud change Rogers' golf course runoff

By Kevin Wiatrowski

TAMPA - City and state officials have taken the first steps toward a renovation of Rogers Park Golf Club that would reduce pollution washing into the Hillsborough River.

The Tampa City Council agreed to put $100,000 toward changing the course's drainage layout. The Southwest Florida Water Management District will put up $150,000.

“We're just hoping to clean up the water before it discharges,” said Stephanie Powers, the project manager for SWFMD. “Like any golf course, they use a lot of fertilizers.”

Those fertilizers contain nitrogen, a potential plant food. When nitrogen washes off golf courses, streets, or even falls out of the air, it promotes the growth of algae in the water. That can make the river and the bay too cloudy to sustain sea grass beds, important nurseries for fish and other sea life.

“Nitrogen is the number one pollutant in Tampa Bay,” said Nanette O'Hara, public outreach coordinator for the St. Petersburg-based Tampa Bay Estuary Program.