Smart on Pesticides Maryland

About Smart on Pesticides Maryland

The Smart on Pesticides Coalition works to protect Marylanders and the natural systems we depend upon from the toxic impacts of pesticides.

Pesticides pose a serious risk to our health, to the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways and to wildlife. Certain pesticides particularly harm honeybees and wild bees, and play a significant role in bees dying at alarming rates around the world.

Research overwhelmingly shows that toxic neonicotinoid pesticides kill and harm bees, butterflies and birds – posing a serious threat to our food, public health and wildlife. Last year, Maryland beekeepers lost 61 percent of their bees, about twice the national average and far more than is typical in a year. In addition to killing bees outright, research shows that even low levels of these toxic pesticides cause serious harm.

Sign the petition to Maryland nurseries.

bees Honey bees and other pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat. Bees pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that make up 90 percent of the world’s food supply. Many fruits and vegetables, including apples, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, carrots and broccoli, as well as almonds and coffee, rely on bees.


Amend the Pollinator Habitat Plans Law

Maryland’s pollinators are at risk, due in part to pesticides and a lack of sufficient habitat. The 2016 Pollinator Habitat Plans law aimed to restore and increase habitat for bees, birds, butterflies and other wildlife. This law requires that Maryland’s Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Services and the State Highway Administration establish pollinator habitat plans for lands owned or managed by each agency. Unfortunately, nothing in the current law ensures that pollinators in these habitats are safe from toxic pesticides, including neonicotinoids. This legislative session, the Smart on Pesticides Coalition is working to pass a bill amending the Pollinator Habitat Plans law to ensure that pollinator habitats on state lands do not use pesticides that are known to harm bees, birds and other pollinators. View a fact sheet on the bill here.

Maryland Becomes the First State in the Country to Restrict Bee-Killing Pesticides

After years of hard work, the Pollinator Protection Act (SB 198 & HB 211) passed the Maryland General Assembly with bi-partisan support this legislative session and will go into effect on January 1, 2018! This law will protect our bees and other pollinators by restricting consumer use of harmful neonicotinoid pesticides. We owe a BIG thank you to our legislative champions, beekeepers, farmers, public health and environmental advocates and constituents who sent thousands of letters and emails to their legislators, made phone calls and visited offices.

The Pollinator Protection Act was the first bill of its kind to pass a state’s General Assembly in the nation, and represents a big step forward to protect our pollinators, public health and food supply. We hope this law will prompt other states – and the federal government – to reduce the use of toxic neonic pesticides.

If you’re concerned about pesticides, make sure you also sign up for Smart on Pesticides e-mail alerts so you can stay informed and so that you can stay current on all the latest news and information: Sign up here.

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