Why Do We Need to Protect Pollinators?

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PROGRESS IS BEING MADE, INCH BY INCH, GARDEN BY GARDEN AND COMMUNITY BY COMMUNITY:  On May 12th, at the Olive Town Board’s monthly meeting we learned that the agencies responsible for spraying along our roads and waterways heard our concerns:  THE TOWN OF OLIVE WILL NOT BE SPRAYED THIS SUMMER AND WE HOPE FOREVERMORE.

About thirty citizens attended the meeting as well as representatives from NYCDEP, DEC, and Bureau of Water Supply as well as a representative of Congressman Cahill.   Over 1,000 people have signed the petition as of mid-May. Of those, 150 are from the town of Olive.

You too can add your voice so that other communities can emulate Olive and New York State can change.  sign the petition:  http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-spraying-pesticides?source=c.em.mt&r_by=1693432

Our once ubiquitous monarch butterfly is on the precipice of disappearing. We are losing our bees at an unsustainable 30% a year.  There are many contributing factors including widespread use of pesticides and herbicides by Big Agriculture and by individuals around their homes, loss of habitat, and climate change.   It will take a concerted effort by individuals, communities, schools, libraries, towns, farmers, small and large corporations, cities, states and the federal government to participate in saving not only the monarchs, but all our pollinators.  Without our pollinators we will lose at least half of our favorite food.

Every summer for the past thirty years, New York State has sprayed an herbicide containing glyphosate along our roadways, reservoirs and waterways.  There are alternative and less expensive ways to address the issue of visible guardrails. The Tollway Authority of the state of Illinois is saving money by planting milkweed and wildflowers along its roads and working with each community along the way.

I started a petition on move.on.org to stop New York State from once again spraying along all our roads this summer:  Please sign it.  Please share it.   Thank you.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-spraying-pesticides?source=c.em.mt&r_by=1693432

There is much information about the effects of glyphosate. I will be adding links to reports on this website.  The World Health Organization just released a study indicating that this herbicide is a probable carcinogen.  Please share with neighbors and friends.  We’ve got to stop poisoning our planet.

Maraleen
www.spiritofbutterflies.com and http://www.pollinatorfriendlytowns.org

Olive became the first pollinator friendly town in the state and nation when the Town Board voted unanimously on February 11, 2014 to enthusiastically support this initiative.  It is under consideration in many towns at this time.

Shandaken became the second pollinator friendly town in the state and nation when the Shandaken Town Board voted 3 to 2 to support this initiative on April 7th, 2014.

The town of Rochester does not spray, but mows mindfully.

Please email :  mmjbutterfly@gmail.com if you want to sign-on as a Pollinator Friendly individual. It is important to have many individuals show support for this Initiative so that your town officials know its citizens’ approve and understand the importance of protecting pollinators, an issue affecting us all.   Let us know if you would like an information packet for you to submit to your town officials.  Maraleen Manos-Jones is available to speak to your town boards about this timely initiative.

No one is asking for money, but this Initiative is asking each person to take responsibility for her/his little patch of earth.  Each one teach one. Small actions can have large ramifications.   A world without bees would be a world without food, and a world without butterflies would be a world without hope.  Let’s make sure that doesn’t come to pass.  Please protect all pollinators.  Thank you.

The following leaders in the world of butterflies support this project and urge you to do so as well.  We are at a critical juncture and the pollinators need your protection now.

Dr. Lincoln Brower, Professor Emeritus Sweet Briar College, and one of the world’s leading monarch scientists, enthusiastically supports this initiative and thinks that grassroots activism can have a major and positive impact. 

Scott Black, Executive Director of The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, and Chair IUCN Butterfly Specialist Group, thinks it critical that we all take action now.

Roy Zartarian, President of the Connecticut Butterfly Association,  heartily endorses this initiative.

Kay Milam, producer/director, of the film Butterfly Trees

Gina Gould, Director, Ashokan Center

There are many reasons for the decline of monarchs and bees, and songbirds, and the multitude of other fauna and flora that I will briefly outline here: Please visit The Pollinator Information page for more resources to become better informed about this subject because ultimately each one of us needs to teach others.  The time is now:  we cannot wait until all the pollinators are dead before we start turning things around.

–  widespread use of pesticides and toxins on the U.S.’s 33 million acres of lawns is literally killing all living creatures and seeping into our water systems. In the U.S. every year 80 million pounds of pesticides are used on lawns, which translates to more pesticides per acre than used by Big Ag, which is to say a lot.  Lawns are helping to make 85% of all species extinct besides being a threat to human health since pesticides contain neuro- disruptors.  Pesticides are now found in 93% of children aged 3 to 13 years old and 96% of all fish have pesticide residue.

–  GMO crops call for the widespread use of pesticides

– loss of habitats:  over 2 millions acres of wildlife habitat is lost in the U.S. every year.  What does this mean?  New housing developments cut down trees, create lawns and use non-native plantings that do not support local species.  Of course, the same is true for malls and roadways. Conscientious development can work with nature rather than obliterate all life around it, and that includes golf courses.

–  mowing of roadways just as the monarchs are laying their eggs on milkweed is another issue that we all must address in our towns.

–  in every town where there are utility lines or old railroad tracks where there is a possibility of easily creating pollinator habitat with native plants that do not need maintenance.

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