New Protections for Northwest Salmon


Clean water is vital for our salmon and ultimately for all who depend upon these Northwest streams and rivers. We are thrilled to announce that we recently reached an agreement with EPA to enact protections for endangerd Pacific salmon.

About the step forward:

The settlement agreement we just negotiated restores reasonable no-spray buffer zones to protect salmon and steelhead from five broad-spectrum, commonly used insecticides – diazinon, chlorpyrifos, malathion, carbaryl, and methomyl.

These insecticides, some of which are derived from nerve toxins developed during World War II, can harm salmon in a number of ways. They can kill the fish directly, obliterate their habitat, and impair their ability to swim or interfere with their ability to navigate back to their home streams to spawn. They can also kill the insects salmon eat.

The buffers prohibit aerial spraying of the pesticides within 300 feet of salmon habitat and prohibit ground-based applications within 60 feet. They will remain in place until EPA implements permanent protection measures.

NCAP is committed to working in partnership with affected farmers to develop and implement alternatives to the five insecticides.

Read More Here


Everett Parks Now Safer for Kids due to new Integrated Pest Management Policy!  


New protections for children and park users are in effect in the city of Everett, WA thanks to the adoption of a new Integrated Pest Management Policy!

The city of Everett has been using approximately 2,000 lbs. of pesticides per year, on turf and in landscaping beds of its parks.  Children who use the park are more susceptible to long-term health impacts of pesticides as they have different metabolisms and their bodies are still developing and growing.  

The Park Board voted unanimously to approve the policy for all Everett parks on June 10th at their regular meeting.  The new policy was drafted by Parks Department staff at the urging of concerned residents for stronger human and environmental health protections.  Public comment was included during the Park Board meetings in October and May and at the final vote on June 10th.

Concerned local volunteer Megan Dunn worked with the City of Everett Parks and Recreation Department and Park Board to help foster the new parks approach. She organized over 150 hours of volunteer time each summer to maintain a local park without chemical pesticides. That program was suspended in order to encourage a citywide policy to abate pesticide use in all parks.  During that time, Megan started working for NCAP, where she is now encouraging other activists who work to reduce pesticide use as a Program Director for Healthy People in Communities.  Megan Dunn said, “I am very excited this 5 year campaign will result in healthier children and parks. I’m looking forward to partnering with others in the community and with the Parks department as we make transitions to alternatives to pesticides.
Everett is a city of over 100,000 people and the county seat for the County of Snohomish.  The most common herbicide Everett uses is a glyphosate-based material.  The city also uses Crossbow, Surflan, Trimec, Dimension, Rodeo and Snapshot.  Dunn added, “This lasting change will keep nearly 2,000 lbs. of these pesticides out of our streams and waterways and protect the health of all park users and residents of Everett. This is an important step forward for the city.  It sends a message you don’t need to use chemicals to have a healthy usable park and open fields. “ 

The Integrated Pest Management approach or “IPM” plan considers pesticides as a ‘last resort.’  Parks staff will first follow cultural practices, mechanical controls, and biological controls.  If the weed or pest tolerance for parks is exceeded then a chemical pesticide could be applied.  By practicing alternatives to pesticides, Everett is preserving it’s natural capital in the form of ecosystem services and protecting the health of all residents and neighbors. 


Recent Events

National Pollinator Week


Last week was filled with both joy and sorrow as we celebrated pollinators and their enormous value for our ecosystems. We are happy to report that three new co-sponsors just signed on with their support for the Saving America's Pollinators Act (SAPA): Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Congressman Sam Farr, and Congressman Adam Schiff. This brings our total number to 68 co-sponsors and brings us closer to ensuring safety for our pollinators. SAPA would ban neonicotinoid pesticides while more research is conducted to show the effect these pesticides have on pollinator populations.

Unfortunatey, that effect was clearly displayed last week as bee die-offs occured in Eugene and Portland after neonicotinoid pesticides were sprayed on flowering linden trees. Read more about the Eugene incident here.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer gave a floor speech about pollinator protection last week and we hope that more people will soon take his message to heart. Watch his speech here.

If you haven't already contacted your representative about co-sponsoring SAPA, click here to learn what to say and let us know how it goes!

Blueberry Farm Tour

Mummy berry disease is a challenge for organic blueberry farmers in the Pacific Northwest. One grower at NCAP’s June farm tour had taken the drastic measure of pruning back all his canes and forgoing a year’s worth of production and income to break the disease cycle.
Ken Berg of Berg’s Certified Organic Blueberries in Alvadore, OR hosted the afternoon tour for 20 growers. After extensive crop loss a few years ago, Ken employed an intensive mulching practice to cover the mummied berries. At the tour, Ken showed the black visqueen he places under the bushes and holds in place with sawdust mulch. This and other sanitation practices have greatly reduced his loss to mummy berry.
Oregon State University researchers Jay Pscheidt and Jade Florence shared their work with NCAP and collaborating blueberry growers to develop mulching for Oregon’s growing conditions. Their work has shown that the timing and depth of sawdust mulch application is critical, since the fungal fruiting body has been able to grow ten centimeters under certain conditions.
For more information on managing mummy berry, see Jade Florence’s blog
Upcoming Events

Save the Date!

Join us on Saturday October 4th at the Vet's Club Ballroom for a fun-filled evening of food, drink, games, a silent auction and more! Trust us, you won't want to miss it.

Music by Texas Toasters
Produce provided by Organically Grown Company
Dessert provided by Coconut Bliss and Vanilla Jill's
Photobooth by Wendy Gregory Studio
Beer from Oakshire Brewing
Wine from Frey Vineyards
Special one of a kind screen prints by Threadbare
Inspiring Rachel Carson Award Celebration
and so much more...

Tickets go on sale in September. Want to Help?
If you have a donation you would like to make for our auction or you are interested in volunteering, contact Shelly at sconnor@pesticide.org or 541-344-5044 ext. 17. Volunteering and donations valued at $100 or more will get your free tickets!

Let's Learn About Paper Wasps:
A beneficial predator!


Paper wasps are long-legged, narrow-waisted wasps that are common throughout the United States. These wasps are both predators and pollinators, and are considered a beneficial insect.  However, their yellow and black markings (or orange and black, for some species) make them easy to confuse with various yellowjacket wasps, and are not well tolerated as a result.  

Paper wasps are common around structures from March through August, especially the introduced European paper wasp (Polistes dominula).   They commonly attach their nest to wood or metal lips or ledges, such as overhead beams, playground equipment, uncapped pipes or pipes with holes, window frames, and inside metal utility boxes.  Paper wasp nests are distinctive: the papery, gray nests are one layer of exposed comb, often pointing outward or downward from the surface they’re attached to.  Like yellowjackets, paper wasps will defend their nest by stinging (and may do so repeatedly).  Unlike yellowjackets, it takes provocation to get a paper wasp to sting.  

If you think you have an active paper wasp nest that needs to be removed, you may do so without the use of pesticides.  First, confirm that it is a paper wasp.  Then, use a long-handled tool (such as a rake or hoe) very early in the morning when temperatures are coolest to knock the nest down.  The paper wasps will take flight in their confusion, but do not typically sting as long as the person remains several feet away.  The queen may attempt to re-nest through early August, so periodically check the area for new nests, which begin at about the size of a dime.   

To learn more about paper wasps, including their identification and differences from other common wasps, visit NCAP’s Home and Garden toolbox for wasps and bees: http://www.pesticide.org/Alternatives/home-and-garden-toolbox/pest-solutions/bees-and-wasps


June 2014

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Breaking News! Spokane is the second US city to ban the use of Neonicotinoids on City Property.
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Complete a
Bed Bug Survey 
NCAP is working with researchers from University of Arizona to study the impacts of bed bugs. Please complete the on-line survey to methodically determine bed bug impacts, and analyze the behavioral risk factors associated with bed bug infestations. The quick survey is for people who have never had bed bugs, as well as those who have had them in the past and those living with them now.

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Do you have a business?  See NCAP's Business League roster to learn more about becoming an NCAP Business League member. Join the growing list of businesses that are standing up for a healthy


NCAP is a proud member of EarthShare Oregon, a network of 80 conservation and health groups that work to promote clean air, healthy streams, safe habitat, secure food sources, and more. 

You can engage with EarthShare Oregon at your workplace to support environmental causes in your community, across Oregon, and around the world. See what member groups were able to accomplish just last year: 
2013 Accomplishments
Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides | info@pesticide.org | 541.344.5044

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