-For Immediate Release-
IRVINE, CA; February 19, 2021— In the ever-growing movement to protect planet Earth and tackle climate change, UC Irvine just became a certified affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program. The path to certification was spearheaded by a group known as the “Save the Bees Campaign,” and the campus now joins 106 other “Bee Campuses” in pollinator conservation efforts.
The Save the Bees Campaign consists of undergraduate students in a nonprofit known as the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG). Although these students come from a diverse array of backgrounds and majors, they’re united by their care for the environment.
“Young people especially have a call to safeguard our planet, as we have the power to shape the future that we will inherit,” said Sage Wuu, a second year undergraduate who chairs the CALPIRG chapter on campus. She initiated the entire project roughly one year ago.
In pursuing Bee Campus affiliation, Wuu’s goal was to mobilize students, faculty, and staff on one critical issue: the recent decline of bee populations. That is, bee colonies have been diminishing pretty drastically — by as much as 40% in one year. These insects are important parts of Earth’s ecosystems, and their losses threaten global food production, biodiversity, and species survival. Most of the causes — habitat loss, climate change, acute pesticide poisoning — are rooted in human activity. With this in mind, one can assume that the problem will not be resolved without planned, deliberate changes in public policy.
Wendell Brase, UCI’s Associate Chancellor for Sustainability, provided active support for Bee Campus affiliation from the start. “This initiative has many laudable attributes,” he praised. “It is student-initiated and student-led, it focuses on an important problem that is often overlooked, it has a strong research and public education component, and it is about a natural system of critical global importance.”
On-campus pollinator conservation efforts will now be led by the university’s newly established “Bee-Friendly Committee,” a team composed of students, faculty, and staff. In just half a year, the committee has hosted an informative webinar, planned educational signage, and drafted a public webpage. In the future, they’ll also maintain pollinator-friendly gardens, coordinate community service projects, and more.
As part of Bee Campus affiliation, the committee will also apply for certification renewal each year, publishing updates on relevant accomplishments.
All are invited to attend a virtual celebration taking place on Tuesday, March 2, from 5 to 6P.M. Hosted by CALPIRG students, the event will include educational talks, interactive presentations, and open discussions about environmental activism. RSVP here to receive more details.
To learn more about UCI’s Bee Campus USA program, contact Alyssa Romea at [email protected].
For more information about Bee Campus USA, visit https://www.beecityusa.org/
For more information about CALPIRG, visit www.calpirgstudents.org.
For information about four simple ways to help pollinators, visit https://xerces.org/bringbackthepollinators/