WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE:SMG), home to the leading brands in lawn and garden care, today launched a multi-year program across Florida to provide financial support to environmental groups and academic institutions focused on scientific research to help identify potential solutions to the state's water quality issues. The company also said it will launch a multi-media consumer campaign beginning immediately and escalating throughout the spring to remind homeowners how they can maintain healthy lawns and gardens while also protecting the state's critical water resources. "As the leader in consumer lawn and garden care, we have a responsibility to help our consumers use our products correctly in order to be good stewards of the environment," said chairman and chief executive officer Jim Hagedorn, who is a resident of Florida. "As a resident of the Treasure Coast, and as someone with a passion to be on the water, I have witnessed the challenges in the St. Lucie River, the Indian River Lagoon and other waterways. I want Floridians to be confident that we're helping them do their part to help protect our most valuable natural resources." Over the past several years, ScottsMiracle-Gro has taken key steps to improve the environmental profile of its lawn care products by removing phosphorus, reducing the amount of total nitrogen while also increasing the amount of slow-release nitrogen. The company has also introduced innovations in its widely-used lawn spreaders to ensure on-target fertilizer application. Additionally, enhanced instructions on product packaging provide consumers with clear instructions on how to use the products successfully while also helping to protect water quality. "We have an obligation to help protect the environment and to ensure our products are being used correctly," said Hagedorn. "We embrace that obligation and are committing resources that will take us beyond what we've done before. We are proud to take a leadership role in this effort and we encourage others to do the same."