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USDA Illuminates the Jamie L. Whitten Building in Green from April 18th to April 21st to Highlight Invasive Plant Pest Disease and Awareness Month

Vin Vasive in front of the illuminated Whitten Building

Vin Vasive at the USDA Jamie L. Whitten Building, illuminated green in observance of Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month (IPPDAM) and the United Nations' International Year of Plant Health (IYPH).

Media Contacts:
Cecilia Sequeira
K.Cecilia.Sequeira@USDA.gov
202-494-5083

Suzanne Bond
Suzanne.M.Bond@usda.gov
301-851-4070

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is observing Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month (IPPDAM) and the United Nations’ International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) by lighting in green the façade of its main headquarters, the Jamie L. Whitten building in Washington, D.C. USDA will illuminate the building for four nights in April, starting on April 18.

“It is fitting that the first time the USDA building is illuminated in this way it is to bring awareness to the life-giving role plants play and the critical need to protect them. Plants produce the oxygen we breathe and give us 80 percent of the food we eat, so they are critical to our survival, environmental health, and economic well-being,” said Dr. Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator, Plant Protection and Quarantine Program of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). “But, according to the United Nations, invasive pests destroy up to 40 percent of the world’s food crops and cause $220 billion in trade losses each year.”

In celebration of the IYPH, APHIS is also partnering with the North American Plant Protection Organization and the Niagara Falls Illumination Board to hold a special illumination ceremony on April 19 and 20. The Falls will glow with green light to emphasize the need to protect plant health across North America and around the world. The illuminations will occur from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for 15 minutes at the top of every hour. Watch it live: https://www.earthcam.com/canada/niagarafalls/?cam=niagarafalls_str

In the U.S. alone, these destructive insects and plant diseases—such as the Asian longhorned beetle, spotted lanternfly, and the gypsy moth—cost the U.S. an estimated $40 billion each year in damages to trees, plants, crops and related management efforts. APHIS urges members of the public to take simple, specific actions to leave invasive, hungry pests behind and protect our vital plant resources in the United States. Visit the Hungry Pests website to learn about invasive plant pests and diseases that are affecting or could affect your region and how to report them. Look for and report unusual signs of pests or diseases in trees and plants.

Niagara Falls in green Whitten Building in green

Niagara Falls illuminated green in observance of Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month (IPPDAM) and the United Nations' International Year of Plant Health (IYPH).

USDA illuminates the Jamie L. Whitten Building in green in observance of Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month (IPPDAM) and the United Nations' International Year of Plant Health (IYPH).


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USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov




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USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

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