Activism Stops Herbicide Spraying in Catskill Watershed

Background: In 2014, at Maraleen Manos-Jones’ urging, the town of Olive Board voted to protect pollinators. (please see video of her presentation to the board on the home page)

In 2015,  about thirty Olive 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 2015. Of those, 150 are from the town of Olive. The DEP said they would no long spray roads in Olive with an herbicide containing glyphosate and would experiment with non-toxic alternatives.

In May 2016, representatives from the NYCDEP returned to our town meeting, giving us a progress report on their evolving efforts to protect pollinators.  They will be mowing only once in October, thus allowing caterpillars and other beneficial insects to complete their life cycles.

They will no longer use sprays containing glyphosate.  They will only selectively use a non-toxic herbicide made of two soil bacterium, to judiciously target problem areas that obstruct sight lines.

What started in Olive has rippled out.  Now we need to petition New York State not to spray any of the roads in the whole state with herbicides, but instead use best roadside management practices.  This would be another major step in protecting our pollinators.

You too can add your voice so that other communities can emulate Olive and New York State can also finally stop the use of toxic herbicides and pesticides along all our roads.  Please sign the petition:

Our once ubiquitous monarch butterfly is on the precipice of disappearing. There are many contributing factors to this 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 to stop New York State from once again spraying along all our roads this summer:  Please sign it.  Please share it.   Thank you.

There is much information about the effects of glyphosate. I will be adding links to reports on this website.  The World Health Organization released a study in the spring of 2016 indicating that this herbicide is a probable carcinogen.  Please share with neighbors and friends.  We’ve got to stop poisoning our planet.


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