|As I head into my 22nd year at the Xerces Society, I want to thank you for your incredible support. With over 70 committed and driven staff members, Xerces has grown to be the largest invertebrate conservation organization in the world. Together, with you on our team, we spread our message to every state in the country and around the globe.
Your support allows us to protect invertebrates and the incredible gifts they offer—pollination, filtering our streams and rivers, providing food for birds and fish, and cleaning up human, plant and animal waste.
To achieve results, Xerces uses a proven, holistic conservation approach. Through applied and community science projects, we contribute to discoveries that inform public policy and help people successfully conserve, restore and manage habitat. We have hundreds of people collecting data on western monarchs, and by next year we will have Bumble Bee Atlas efforts in 15 states. Additionally, we launched a Firefly Atlas this year to better understand the status and conservation needs of these iconic animals.
These research efforts provide the information we need to protect, restore and manage habitat for bumble bees, fireflies, butterflies, and freshwater mussels. But we can’t do this work without your continued support.
Our outreach and education efforts help people understand the importance of making room for invertebrates and ways to take action. We organize workshops and trainings for thousands of farmers, land managers, gardeners and policymakers. We then follow up with technical assistance to ensure they can be successful, which creates the ripple effect of inspiring others in their communities to do the same.
In the last year alone, we have provided one-on-one technical assistance to 341 projects on agricultural lands that helped farmers restore habitat and protect these areas from pesticides. Bee City USA affiliates completed 1,600 habitat projects and hosted over 2,400 events reaching more than 229,000 people. Xerces Ambassadors in 11 states (soon to be twice as many) volunteered many hours at schools, farmers markets and other events to help others on their conservation journey. We also celebrated the launch of X Kids, which uses storytelling and science-based activities to help children discover the environment around them. We are impressed that 425 students have already earned their official X Kid badges!
For me, the most meaningful metric of success is that we have protected and restored more than 3.5 million acres of high-quality habitat for insects and other invertebrates.
Additionally, ensuring all the habitat we work on is protected from pesticides is key to recovering insect populations. Our pesticide reduction team continues to make gains by helping policymakers and communities pass laws that curb the overuse of pesticides. In the last year, we provided technical support on 14 bills in 11 states, including work to limit herbicide drift, increase oversight of pesticide-treated seed, and halt pesticide use in wildlife refuge lands. In fact, this year we helped protect 4.6 million acres of Western rangelands from large-scale insecticide use.
I am proud of what Xerces has achieved over the last 22 years. We could not have been successful without our dedicated staff, partners and supporters, and donors like you.
Thank you so much for helping us make the world a better place for the little things that run the world.
Scott Black, Director