First-ever pollinator proclamation for the agency in its 50-year history

News Release, United States Environmental Protection agency

WASHINGTON(June 23, 2020) — Yesterday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed aproclamationdesignating the week of June 22 as National Pollinator Week. Administrator Wheeler is the first EPA Administrator to sign such a proclamation – joining leadership from the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), all 50 Governors and hundreds of governments and organizations around the world.Here’s what stakeholders and elected officials are saying:

House Administration Committee Ranking Member and Congressional Pollinator Caucus Co-Chair Rodney Davis (IL-13):“Bees and other pollinators are a key component of American agriculture. The decline of pollinators is something we all should be concerned about. From educating the public to crafting new policy, we must do everything we can to ensure the stability of pollinator populations everywhere. I’d like to thank Administrator Wheeler and the men and women of the EPA for recognizing the critical role pollinators play in our nation’s food supply and ecosystem.”

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Co-Chair of the Congressional Pollinator Caucus:“Our nation’s pollinators are essential for a robust food supply, and they are responsible for the beauty that flows from our gardens and natural landscapes. In Congress, I have worked to bring awareness of the threats causing a decline in the populations of birds, bees, insects, and other pollinators that help grow our food supply and other flowering plant life. Indeed, pollinators deserve recognition this week and for all they do for our ecosystem.”

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Mike Conaway (TX-11):“Pollinators are crucial to the success of American agriculture, and I commend this Administration’s focus on addressing pollinator health. In particular, pests such as the varroa mite and the diseases they carry are devasting our nation’s bee population, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) are making great headway on tools to mitigate these threats. This year’s pollinator week is an important reminder that to advance pollinator health, EPA and USDA must continue their great work to improve communication and collaboration with America’s agricultural community.”

House Oversight Committee Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member James Comer (KY-01):“I applaud the Trump Administration’s decision to designate this week as National Pollinator Week. EPA is continuing its important work to protect bees and other pollinators ensuring that farmers and ranchers have all the necessary tools and information needed to promote pollinator health. This is the first ever pollinator proclamation in EPA’s 50 year history, and I am proud of the work the Agency is doing in this area.”

Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Bruno Pigott:“Celebrating National Pollinators Week is a great opportunity to teach Hoosiers how they can protect pollinators and the important work they do,” said IDEM Commissioner Bruno Pigott. “Without pollinators, we risk losing fruits, vegetables, and flowers that are vital to human health and the environment.”

Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director Carol Comer:“More than 460 kinds of bees, nearly 400 species ofbutterflies and moths, flower flies, hummingbirds and even some of our ants, wasps and beetles pollinate our state’s wildflowers, many of our trees, and a substantial portion of Missouri’s food and forage crops,” said Comer.“We appreciate the Administrator’s recognition of the importance of pollinators and we support a healthy future for them by keeping Missouri’s native wildflowers growing, keeping invasive weeds away, and keeping Missouri’s outdoor spaces vibrant and diverse.”

Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation:“American farmers recognize just how important pollinators are to maintaining a nutritious, stable food supply. We commend EPA, USDA, and DOI for their efforts to promote pollinator health this week and throughout the year, while also ensuring farmers maintain access to critical pesticides to mitigate threats from dangerous insects. Farmers rely on pollinators to support greater crop productivity, so pollinator stewardship practices are part of everyday farming activities.”

Wayne Fredericks, American Soybean Association Director,serving on the ASA Conservation Committee:“The value of protecting our pollinators, including bees and butterflies, cannot be overstated, and the American Soybean Association and soy industry are devoted to this important mission during National Pollinator Week and year-round. We appreciate being able to work with EPA, our industry partners, and as an organization on measures to protect pollinators and promote how managing habitat and other conservation efforts matter.”

Nathan Fields, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Vice President of Production and Sustainability: “Although corn does not benefit from insect pollination, the National Corn Growers Association believes supporting the health of pollinators improves the long-term health and sustainability of the ecosystems in which corn growers operate.”