Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) made the following statement in recognition of National Pollinator Week. This year marks its sixth anniversary, which is celebrated from June 18-24, 2012.
"As the co-founder of the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus, I am proud to recognize National Pollinator Week. Seventy-five percent of all flowering plants rely on animals and insects like butterflies, bats, birds, and most importantly bees to move pollen from one plant to another and promote fertilization. Not only do pollinators play a critical role in the reproductive cycle of plants, but they also provide significant benefits to all of us.
"Much of the food consumed every single day in the United States and around the world is a direct result of insect pollination. Plants grown for food, medicine, and even certain fabrics require the help of pollinators. In fact, every third bite of food eaten is made possible by these pollinators, as well as billions of dollars worth of commodities produced and sold in the U.S. alone.
"Due to a number of factors, however, pollinators are struggling for survival. The recent decline in both the health and population of pollinators around the world is a major threat to not only biodiversity and the ecosystem, but also our health and well-being. National Pollinator Week is a necessary and important opportunity to address the urgent decline of pollinator populations and what must be done to ensure that they are preserved and protected."