Sanibel Vice Mayor Mick Denham has been working tirelessly on water quality issues for years and continues on a track to educate citizens and government officials on the subject.
Tuesday, the Florida League of Cities recognized that work by presenting Denham with the Home Rule Hero award at the Sanibel City Council meeting at MacKenzie Hall.
"We are all proponents of the home rule idea," said Scott Dudley, director of legislative affairs for the Florida League of Cities who made the presentation. "This is a perfect example of the home rule idea. We are pleased to give this award to Denham and the city of Sanibel."
Vice Mayor Mick Denham is joined by Mayor Kevin Ruane (left) after receiving the Home Rule Hero award Tuesday from Florida League of Cities director of legislative affairs Scott Dudley (right).
Denham's work on water quality issues dates back more than six years as he set about getting state government to pass fertilizer legislation.
"I'm very honored to receive this award," added Denham. "Thank you Scott and the Florida League of Cities, it's a real honor to be given this award and I receive it on behalf of the city and the council members who support it."
Denham continues to work with city, county and regional governmental officials as well as environmental organizations putting together a plan and fertilizer ordinances.
"We have been defensive and defending home rule and trying to find a different way of going at it," said Denham. "That's why we are trying to be sure we have an very extensive citizens education program to explain to them how to fertilize responsibly.
"To be honest with you it's not the fertilizer company that decide what goes on people's lawns it's the citizens that own the lawns. They have the power to tell the fertilizer company we don't want it in the rainy season, we want it applied in a certain manner to try and protect our environment."
Denham has made dozens of trips to Tallahassee to meet with legislators and convince them not to overturn the fertilizer ordinances.
"It's my passion," said Denham. "It affects our lives, our property values and even health hazards. Citizens do not realize how important it is for them. Last year we almost lost it (legislation). It came down to the last meeting on the last day to save it."