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Pollinator Week is June 17-23

Pollinator Week is June 17-23

Learn About the Importance of Pollinators and How You Can Protect Them

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets today announced the commemoration of National Pollinator Week, June 17-23, after Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a proclamation (PDF) affirming New York’s commitment to promoting the health and recovery of the state’s pollinator population. In addition, this week, New York State is celebrating Pollinator Week with several events highlighting the importance of key pollinator species such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. State agencies also announced updates on actions taken as a result of the State’s Pollinator Protection Plan.

Pollinators contribute substantially to the State’s environment and economy. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pollinators provide approximately $344 million worth of pollination services to New York and add $29 billion in value to crop production nationally each year. 

There is much to learn about these valuable members of New York’s ecosystems, as well as many steps your household can take to protect them and to preserve their habitat.


Pollinators aren’t only just bees. Hummingbirds, bats, beetles, butterflies and flies that carry pollen from one plant to another as they collect nectar are also considered pollinators. Over 75 percent of all flowering plants are pollinated by animals!

If there were no pollinators, ecosystems, agriculture and economy would have a very different landscape. Without them, wildlife would have fewer nutritious berries and seeds, and there would be far less fruits, vegetables and nuts, like blueberries, squash, almonds, and even chocolate and coffee worldwide.

They need your help! The number of pollinators, including honey bees, native bats, hummingbirds and butterflies has dropped significantly over the past 50 years. Losses are likely caused by a combination of factors including irresponsible pesticide use, poor nutrition, loss of foraging habitat, parasites, pathogens, lack of genetic diversity and poor land management practices. Taking the time to learn about how human actions affect fragile pollinator food chains could have positive effects for years to come.

So what can you do?

  • BEE careful with pesticides! - Pesticides known to be particularly harmful to bees have special bee advisory labels on them. To protect bees, it is important to read and follow label instructions when you use pesticides on your lawn and garden. If use is necessary, try to apply the product when the plant is not flowering, when it is not windy, and at night when pollinators are less active. Check out the EPA’s guide to better pesticide management practices (PDF).
  • Plant a pollinator garden - What pollinators need most is a diverse array of nectar and pollen resources. Choose plants that flower at different times of the year to provide nectar and pollen sources all throughout the growing season. Plant in native clumps. Native plants can serve as larval host plants for some species of pollinators. Check out St. Lawrence-Eastern Lake Ontario PRISM’s comprehensive guide to making a pollinator pathway (PDF), which is a series of gardens with native plant species that form a distinctive vegetative path in an urban landscape. 

Take a Virtual Pollinator Garden Tour made possible through a grant from the NYS Integrated Pest Management with help from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County.

It doesn’t need to be Pollinator Week for you to make a difference and aid in their diversity and abundance. Practicing these easy methods to help pollinators can make a world of a difference in both your yard and in the local ecosystem.

Learn more about pollinator protection, and feel free to contact us with questions or concerns at PestMgt@dec.ny.gov or give us a call at (518) 402-8788


DEC's 26th Annual 'Becoming an Outdoors-Woman' Workshop

DEC Announces 26th Annual ‘Becoming an Outdoors-Woman’ Workshop

Registration Opens June 17, for Sept. 13-15 Workshop in Silver Bay, NY

Registration for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) 26th annual Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop opens Monday, June 17, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. The BOW workshop will be held from Sept. 13-15, 2019, at the Silver Bay YMCA Conference and Family Retreat Center on Lake George in the Adirondacks.

“Women are a vital and fast-growing segment of New York’s hunting, angling, and outdoor recreation community,” Commissioner Seggos said. “These workshops give participants the skills and knowledge necessary to feel confident about getting outdoors. And the location of this workshop, on the shores of Lake George, provides the perfect backdrop for learning new outdoor skills in an Adirondack setting.”

BOW workshops provide hands-on instruction and experiential learning in a fun and supportive environment. Courses being offered for the first time this year include K-9 first aid, hawk-watching, intro to hobby farming, and basic self-defense for women. Courses may also include basic fishing, fly fishing, archery, crossbow, shotgun and rifle shooting, kayaking, hiking, camping, stand-up paddle boarding, wild plant identification, boat and trailer towing, hunter education, Dutch-oven cooking, wilderness survival, and more.

The workshop is limited to 125 women participants, ages 18 and older. The cost for the three-day workshop ranges from $305 to $450 per participant, depending on lodging and courses selected. Because the workshops are popular, DEC will use a lottery system to draw participants from those who apply. In addition, applications are available for a limited number of partial scholarships.

Registration forms will be posted on DEC’s BOW webpage beginning June 17. Additional information about the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program is also available on the DEC site, including photo galleries and testimonials from previous workshops, and information on day-long and weekend-long Beyond BOW workshops.

To contact DEC about the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program, please call (518) 402-8963, e-mail us, or write to: NY Outdoors-Women, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4754.



DEC Announces Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator and Leashed Tracking Dog Examinations

DEC Announces Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator and Leashed Tracking Dog Examinations

July 19 Registration Deadline for Aug. 9 Exams

Examinations for New Yorkers seeking a license to practice the sport of falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are scheduled for Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

The exams will run from 10 a.m. to noon at most DEC Regional Offices across the state. A list of DEC Regional Offices can be found on the DEC website. The deadline for registering to take these free exams is Friday, July 19, 2019. Exam registration forms can be found on DEC’s Special Licenses website.

Apprentice Falconry License

Falconry has a rich history and tradition throughout the world and requires a significant commitment of time and effort. Apprentices are limited to possessing one bird, either an American kestrel or a red-tailed hawk. A falconry study guide and examination manual are available at no cost from DEC. The cost of a five-year falconry license is $40.

To qualify for the Apprentice Falconry license, applicants must:

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam;
  • be at least 14 years of age;
  • possess a valid New York State hunting license; and
  • maintain DEC-approved facilities for housing falconry raptors.

Wildlife Rehabilitator License

Wildlife rehabilitators provide for the care of injured, sick, and orphaned wild animals for the purpose of returning rehabilitated animals to the wild. Prospective applicants are encouraged to gain experience by serving as an assistant to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. A wildlife rehabilitator study guide and examination manual are available at no cost from DEC. There is no cost for the license, which is good for five years.

To qualify for the Wildlife Rehabilitator License, applicants must:

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam;
  • be at least 16 years of age; and
  • be interviewed by DEC Regional wildlife staff.

Leashed Tracking Dog Handler

Leashed tracking dog handlers use their dogs to track and recover dead, wounded, or injured big game. Leashed tracking dog handlers provide a valuable service in aiding hunters in locating wounded big game that otherwise may go unrecovered. A leashed tracking dog study guide is available at no cost from DEC. There is a $50 license fee for the five-year license and a $25 non-refundable application fee.

To qualify for a Leashed Tracking Dog Handler License, applicants must:

  • score 80 percent or higher on the written exam; and
  • possess a valid New York State hunting license.

To apply for any of these exams, visit the DEC Special Licenses Unit website and fill out an exam registration form. You can mail, fax, or email the completed form to: NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752; Phone: 518-402-8985, Fax: 518-402-8925, email: SpecialLicenses@dec.ny.gov .



Blue-Green Algae In Stony Brook Public Should Limit Exposure

New Cyanobacteria Blooms found in Stony Brook, Southampton, Mattituck and East Hampton

Sampling performed by SUNY Stony Brook has confirmed the presence of a new cyanobacteria bloom, more commonly known as blue–green algae, in in Roth Pond at SUNY Stony Brook in Stony Brook, Mill Pond in Southampton, Maratooka Lake in Mattituck, and Wainscott Pond in East Hampton.  In addition, cyanobacteria blooms are still present in Laurel Lake in Laurel.

Due to these findings, health officials ask residents not to use or swim or wade in these waters and to keep their pets and children away from the area.  

Though blue-green algae are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, they can become abundant, forming blooms in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red. They may produce floating scums on the surface of the water or may cause the water to take on paint-like appearance. 

Contact with waters that appear scummy or discolored should be avoided. If contact does occur, rinse off with clean water immediately.  Seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur after contact: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation; or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.

To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom at a body of water that contains a Suffolk County-permitted bathing beach, contact the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Ecology at 631-852-5760 between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. or by email at any time atscdhsweb@suffolkcountyny.gov

To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom in any body of water that does not contain a Suffolk County permitted bathing beach, contact the Division of Water at New York State DEC: 518-402-8179 between 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or anytime via email at habsinfo@dec.ny.gov or use the NY HAB system:on.ny.gov/habform

 For a comprehensive list of affected waterbodies in New York State, visit the DEC’s Harmful Algal Bloom Notification Page athttp://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/83310.html or the NY HAB system:  on.ny.gov/habform


For more information about blue-green algae, as well as other harmful algal blooms, visit the Suffolk County website:



DEC Announces WomenHuntFishNY Photo Contest


Following the success of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) statewide photo contest for women hunters, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the second phase of the “WomenHuntFishNY” contest to celebrate women anglers in the state. The contest officially opens on Monday, June 17, and continues through July 8, 2019.

“Women are an underrepresented, yet growing segment of New York State’s angling public, and we want to highlight them in action,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Collecting and sharing photos of these female anglers-of all ages and abilities-will inspire women and girls to get outside and cast a line.”

Women who fish in New York State are encouraged to share their photos by emailing womenhuntfishny@dec.ny.gov. DEC welcomes photos of all aspects of safe, legal, and ethical fishing. Contest categories include:

  • Freshwater fishing
  • Saltwater Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Youth (girls) fishing
  • Mothers and Children/Multi-Generational
  • Action shots (Casting, reeling, or landing the big one!)

To be considered in the contest, photos must depict women fishing in New York State. Fishing photos entered in DEC’s fall WomenHuntFishNY hunting photo contest will automatically be entered for consideration. Participants are strongly encouraged to include a sentence to describe their image or experience.

The deadline for contest entries is Monday, July 8. However, sportsmen and women are encouraged to share photos with DEC any time of year. All submissions will become property of DEC to be used in promotions and outreach. Winning entries will be featured on DEC’s website, social media posts, marketing campaigns, print products, and future outreach to inspire future generations of female anglers.

To view more photos that were entered in the 2018 “WomenHuntFishNY” statewide photo contest, visit DEC’s photo album (leaves DEC website).