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Media Contact: Lea Brooks
December 18, 2008 (08-16)

DPR Awards $585,000 For Three Environmental Projects

(Environmental/business editors: Note local angles for San Joaquin County and the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the San Francisco Bay Area.)

SACRAMENTO – Today the Department of Pesticide Regulation announced the award of three new environmental grants totaling $585,000 to encourage nature-friendly pest management.

“In challenging economic times, it is more important than ever to help farmers and urban pesticide users find effective pest management tools that also provide more protection for public health and the environment,” said DPR Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam. “These grants will help us transition to natural, preventive and less-toxic chemical strategies to control pests.”

The environmental grants were selected by DPR’s Pest Management Alliance Program, initially launched in 1998 to form partnerships with agricultural and urban organizations to develop state- and industrywide pest management techniques that reduce risk to people and the environment. After running for five years, the program was renewed last year. Many projects initially funded by DPR have been continued and expanded by industry groups.

The three new alliance projects and key contacts:

San Joaquin Valley: A peach canning alliance was awarded $195,000 to reduce the use of organophosphate insecticides in that industry. By 2011, the project aims for a 20 percent cutback in these highly toxic insecticides. Growers will learn to adopt new monitoring methods for key pests, use pheromone (scent) methods to disrupt mating and enhance existing biological control by planting sunflowers as a refuge for parasites of the Oriental fruit moth, a key pest in peaches.

For details about the peach canning alliance, the media contact is Jeannette E. Warnert, University of California Cooperative Extension, Fresno, (559) 241-7514,
San Francisco Bay Area:The Urban Child Care Facility Alliance received $215,000 to start an integrated pest management (IPM) program for child care providers throughout the state. IPM stresses non-chemical pest management, especially in sensitive environments. DPR has already developed an extensive IPM program for California schools. The alliance plans to survey child care providers to establish current pest management practices and then to develop English- and Spanish-language educational materials for the management of pests common in child care, including cockroaches, ants, rodents, spiders, yellowjackets, fleas and mildew. An IPM “toolkit” with a curriculum, pest fact sheets and posters will be developed. Materials will be distributed at workshops and professional meetings in cooperation with various agencies and posted on the University of California, San Francisco, California Childcare Health program’s Web site as well as the University of California, Davis, Statewide IPM Web site.

For details about the Urban Child Care Facility Alliance, the media contact is Vickie Leonard: 510-204-0935,

San Joaquin County and Delta: The Waterways Pesticide Alliance won $175,000 to help tomato, alfalfa, walnut and wine grape growers reduce pesticide runoff up to 10 percent by 2011. The project will support a workbook of best management practices. These include pest monitoring; hedgerow plantings to increase beneficial insects; sediment basins and enzyme treatments; tail water return systems, vegetative ditches and irrigation scheduling. Workshops and seminars will then be used to distribute information to growers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

For details about the Waterways Pesticide Alliance, the media contact is Mike Wackman 916-684-9359.

One of six departments and boards within the California Environmental Protection Agency, DPR regulates the sale and use of pesticides to protect people and the environment.