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DEM, URI Hosting Workshops This Winter on the Spotted Lanternfly, an Invasive Pest Targeting Plants and Trees

PROVIDENCE, R.I. The Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with the University of Rhode Island (URI) is holding three public workshops this winter to provide information about the spotted lanternfly, an exotic pest that targets various plants and trees.

Native to China, the spotted lanternfly is an invasive plant-hopper that is currently infesting portions of the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2014 and has quickly spread through surrounding states. It is anticipated that the pest may be introduced into Rhode Island within the next few years. This invasive species targets "Tree of Heaven" plants, grapes, hops, fruit trees, and various hardwood trees including walnut and maple, impacting environmental and economic resources.

The sessions are being held to help municipalities, the grower industry, and residents prepare for and respond to this invasive pest, should it be detected in Rhode Island. Sessions will be held as follows:

Thursday, January 30 10 a.m. 11:30 a.m. Warwick Public Library 600 Sandy Lane, Warwick

Wednesday, February 5 1: 30 - 3 p.m. Exeter Public Library 773 Ten Rod Road, Exeter

Monday, February 10 10 a.m. 11:30 a.m. URI East Farm Farm Road at Kingstown Road, Kingston

Registration is suggested. To RSVP, and for questions about the sessions or the spotted lanternfly, contact Cynthia Kwolek in DEM's Division of Agriculture via email at, or at 401-949-1770.

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit Follow us on Facebook at or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.

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  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
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  • Release date: 01-17-2020

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