Protect Pollinators: Support H 7129 & S 229
June 22, 2022 Update: Rhode Island is on its way to making major updates to our pesticide regulations for the first time in more than a decade! Representative Kislak and Senator Miller's bills (transmitted to the Governor on June 22, 2022) will take harmful neonicotinoid pesticides out of the hands of untrained users.
THANK YOU to everyone who helped us advance these bills by contacting their legislators; our partner advocates; and to the bill cosponsors: Representatives Kislak, Bennett, Kazarian, Speakman, Cortvriend, Carson, Donovan, Felix, McGaw, and Ajello (H 7129); and Senators Miller, Sosnowski, Valverde, Archambault, Coyne, Euer, DiMario, and Kallman (S 2299).
Rhode Island State Representative Kislak and State Senator Miller have reintroduced legislation (H 7129) and (S 2299) to restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. It would take neonics out of the hands of untrained users while lawn care professionals, farmers, and other specialists would be able to become certified to use the insecticides if necessary.
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont all regulate the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. It is time to pass this legislation to protect not only our pollinators but all Rhode Islanders.
Who are the pollinators?
Through foraging and natural movement, pollinators transfer pollen from flower to flower, helping plants produce seeds and fruits. They support natural food webs and healthy ecosystems as over 80% of the world’s plants need pollinators to reproduce.
1 of every 3 bites of food on your plate is there thanks to pollinators. In 2020, the value of pollinator-dependent crops in the U.S.was estimated to be greater than $50 billion.
Bees, butterflies, beetles, birds, wasps, bats, moths and flies all provide pollination services.
Pollinators are Facing Catastrophic Population Decline
Over 40% of pollinator insects and almost 17% of birds and bats that pollinate are facing the threat of extinction due to chemical pesticides (such as neonicotinoids), climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, invasive species, and pathogens.
Why are neonicotinoids (neonics) so harmful?
- Neonics attack the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death;
- Accumulate in pollen and nectar of treated plants;
- Contaminate waterways and are highly toxic to aquatic organisms;
- Bioaccumulate in higher-order species, including birds, mammals, and fish;
- Are an ingredient in hundreds of residential garden products, including insect sprays, seed treatments, soil drenches, tree injections and more.
How can I help pollinators?
- Avoid using pesticides in your yard and garden.
- Plant native species for pollinators.
- Choose plants that are labeled organic or neonic-free.
- Ask your local nursery to stop selling neonic pesticides and treated plants.
- Buy organic fruits and vegetables when possible.
- Support local beekeepers
- Speak out. Tell your legislators that you support the regulation of neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics).
Hear from Advocates and the 2022 Bill Sponsors
Environmental groups, legislators, and supporters gathered on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at the Roger Williams Botanical Center in Providence for a legislative breakfast and speaking event to rally support of RI House Bill 7129 and Senate Bill 2299. The Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Conservation Law Foundation RI, The Nature Conservancy, and the Office of Sustainability for the City of Providence partnered to bring experts to speak of the dangers of neonics and why this legislation is so critical. Click here to read our press release.
Watch the replay: