Saturday, August 22, 2020

Rep. McCarter Introduces Bill To Create Special Pollinator Conservation License Plate, Fund

On August 18, Rep. Stephen McCarter (D-Montgomery) introduced House Bill 2802 which would create a special Pollinator Conservation vehicle license plate to provide funding for a roadside Pollinator Habitat Program.
Under the bill, vehicle owners, including cars, motor homes, trailers or trucks, could purchase the special plate for $35 over the regular registration fee.  
$25 of the fee would then go to a dedicated Habitat Program Fund to provide support for roadside pollinator habitat projects.
In May of last year, PennDOT expanded its popular Adopt A Highway Program to include an Adopt And Beautify For Pollinators Program to provide volunteers with the opportunity to support pollinator conservation by adopting, planting and maintaining Pollinator Habitat sites.
The PennDOT pollinator conservation program was developed as a result of PennDOT’s new Pollinator Habitat Plan initiative, which in turn supports Pennsylvania’s Pollinator Protection Plan.
Why is PennDOT involved in Pennsylvania’s effort to protect pollinators?
Historically, agriculture has been, and continues to be important to the Pennsylvania economy. The diversity of crops, and the number of pollinator dependent crops grown in Pennsylvania is greater than almost all other states.
Nearly 75 percent of our flowering plants and crops are pollinator dependent. Pollinators are particularly important for fruit and vegetable production.
Habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation in combination with increases in pesticide use and introduced disease threaten the pollinators on which we depend for food crops and a sustainable agricultural economy.
In fact the declining numbers of several species have been so significant that these species are under review for listing as federal threatened and endangered species, including the migratory Monarch Butterfly.
PennDOT's Pollinator Habitat Plan, will in partnership with other federal and state agencies, private and community organizations, create naturalized gardens and meadows planted with pollinator-friendly plant species at designated sites.
Sites within rest areas and welcome centers will provide additional public education benefit.
To learn more, visit PennDOT’s Pollinator Habitat Plan webpage.  Questions about this statewide program should be directed to Antonia Zawisa, PennDOT Environmental Analysis Unit, by calling 814-765-0588 or sending email to:
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[Posted: August 22, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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