$250 to kill your grass

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Thanks to Dhaval Jani for the photo.
  • Thanks to Dhaval Jani for the photo.

About a year ago, I went off on the CLog about how stupid grass is. (And it is.) It's a huge waste of resources, particularly water. That's why I'm happy to announce that New Jersey is considering paying homeowners $250 to tear up their grass within critical watersheds.

We should do the same thing along the Catawba River. Seriously. That's our drinking water.

From the Asbury Park Press:

The first legislation to give individual homeowners an incentive to help clean up Barnegat Bay proposes an annual $250 state income tax credit for people who replace grass lawns with stone or crushed shell in bayside neighborhoods.

Getting people to rip out their lawns within 1,000 feet of the bay shore or the bay's tributaries will reduce pollution from fertilizers and lawn care chemicals, says Assemblyman James W. Holzapfel, R-Ocean, who introduced bill A-3750.

"The harmful effects of lawn fertilizers are devastating the Barnegat Bay, and we must explore all the ways that residents can reduce the pollution, while receiving tax incentives to make a change to their property," Holzapfel said in announcing the legislation.

The recurring $250 tax credit on gross income could also be claimed by people who already use stone or shell mulch as landscaping, Holzapfel said.

A new state law restricting fertilizer use is a key component of the state's plan for restoring Barnegat Bay. Scientists say pollution from excess nutrients washing in from the bay's inland watershed is driving the bay's ecological decline. Most of that pollution is nitrogen compounds, estimated at between 850,000 pounds to 1.4 million pounds per year.

Read the rest of the article, by Kirk Moore, here.

Rhiannon Fionn-Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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