Assembly approves creating license plate to protect bees, butterflies, other pollinators

Assembly approves creating license plate to protect bees, butterflies, other pollinators

Ron Dancer

TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey, which is nationally recognized as an important stopover for migrating monarch butterflies and designates the honeybee its state insect, is considering creating a special license plate to protect these important pollinators and others.

A bill (A4717/S92) advanced by the Assembly today and sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, requires the Motor Vehicle Commission to create license plates that support New Jersey’s native pollinators, including official state animals and insects like the Eastern goldfinch, honeybee, and Black Swallowtail butterfly. The plate would be designed by the Garden Club of New Jersey.

“New Jersey is one of the top producers of pollinator-dependent crops including blueberries, cranberries, tomatoes, apples and more. Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and other insects are vital to a strong economy and our state’s overall biodiversity,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “This bill will fund causes dedicated to maintaining healthy pollinator populations and educating school children about the important relationship between pollinators and food.”

Money from application fees that are not used to administer the license plate program will be deposited into a fund and annually appropriated to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, the New Jersey Farm to School program, and a roadside vegetation management program that encourages native plantings and limits the use of herbicides.

Plates would cost drivers an initial fee of $50 and a subsequent $10 renewal fee.