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News Release

RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462


FOR AP DATEBOOK:

DATE:

Thursday, May 11

TIME:

9 a.m. to noon

LOCATION:

DEM Headquarters, Room 300
235 Promenade St., Providence

EVENT:

West Nile Mosquito Training for State Facilities Managers and Staff

For Release:

May 9, 2000

Contact:

Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418

DEM TO HOLD MOSQUITO PREVENTION TRAINING MAY 11 FOR STATE FACILITIES MANAGERS AND STAFF

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management will hold a training session on West Nile Virus prevention and control for state facility managers and staff on Thursday, May 11. DEM and HEALTH officials will brief attendees on the state's West Nile Virus Action Plan, what facility managers can do to help reduce mosquito populations, and the health aspects of the mosquito-borne disease. Thursday's session will be similar to training previously given to more than 100 representatives of 35 municipalities, the Narragansett Indian Tribe, and the Narragansett Bay Commission.

More than 45 employees from the Department of Administration, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Corrections, the Economic Development Corporation, the RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority, the RI Airport Corporation, the University of Rhode Island, the Community College of Rhode Island, and DEM's Divisions of Coastal Resources, Fish and Wildlife, Forest Environment and Parks and Recreation have already confirmed that they will attend Thursday's training session. Federal facility managers, such as representatives from the Newport Naval Base, and representatives from three communities who missed previous training sessions, will also attend.

The training comes during the time of year when state facilities are already doing their "spring cleaning," and mosquito reduction techniques are being wrapped into normal clean up activities. For instance, staff from the Department of Transportation have already begun inspecting their facilities with the goal of reducing mosquito populations by eliminating places where water can collect, and initiating solutions as simple as repositioning the bucket on a front end loader when parked so it cannot collect water.

The state's action plan was developed at the request of Governor Lincoln Almond to prepare for the possibility of West Nile Virus in Rhode Island. West Nile Virus showed up for the first time in North America last year in New York City, where it took the lives of seven people. The main carrier of West Nile Virus is the common house mosquito. The action plan is built around three main points: education, surveillance and mosquito control. Reduction of mosquito breeding grounds is the first step state and municipal officials, as well as individual residents, can take to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus. "Culex," the common house mosquito, has a limited range of flight, but thousands can breed in just one cup of standing water.

Thursday's training will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 300 at DEM Headquarters, 235 Promenade Street in Providence.


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