Assembly joint resolution no. 98 State of new jersey 217th legislature



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ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 98

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MAY 19, 2016









Assemblyman PARKER SPACE

District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)

Assemblyman ADAM J. TALIAFERRO

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)
Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Phoebus

SYNOPSIS

Designates June of each year as “Native Plant Appreciation Month.”


CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

As introduced.





A Joint Resolution designating June of each year as “Native Plant Appreciation Month” in New Jersey.
Whereas, Native plant species are a vital part of New Jersey’s heritage, providing valuable aesthetic, economic, and ecological benefits to State residents; and

Whereas, New Jersey possesses approximately 2,100 native plant species, a number that is comparable to states that are three to four times larger; and

Whereas, This diverse native flora includes hundreds of different wildflowers, like violets and orchids, as well as many different trees, shrubs, grasses, and ferns; and

Whereas, Nineteen globally rare plants have their largest or most viable populations in New Jersey, and nine plants have been documented only in New Jersey and do not occur anywhere else on Earth; and

Whereas, Some of the State’s rare plants include the world’s largest population of Torrey’s mountain mint, a globally-rare orchid called small whorled pogonia, swamp pink, Hirst’s panic grass, and the only population of American chaffseed located north of the Carolinas; and

Whereas, New Jersey’s floristic diversity is due in large part to its geographical diversity, which includes the mountainous Highlands in the north, the sandy Pine Barrens in the south, the rich Delaware River Valley in the west, and the salt marshes of the Atlantic Coast; and

Whereas, Native fruits like the blueberry and the cranberry helped spur the development of the agricultural industry in New Jersey, and earned the State its nickname “the Garden State”; and

Whereas, New Jersey’s preserved open space and farmland, which make up close to a third of the State’s total acreage and contain most of the State’s native plant species, provide an estimated $20 billion per year in ecosystem goods and services; and

Whereas, An interest in protecting New Jersey’s native plants has played a vital role in the creation of many parks in the State, including the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Pinelands National Preserve, and the Sandy Hook area of the Gateway National Recreation Area; and

Whereas, Native plants are vital to the State’s biodiversity, which provides inhabitants with food, maintenance of water and air quality, waste decomposition and soil generation, nutrient cycling, climate stabilization, flood and erosion control, and medicines and pharmaceuticals; and

Whereas, Native plants also provide food and shelter for native wildlife and insects, which in turn, perform essential ecological and agricultural services such as seed dispersal, predation, and pollination; and

Whereas, Studies have shown that New Jersey is rapidly losing its native plants, with roughly one-third of those plants designated as endangered or of special concern by the State’s Natural Heritage Program; and

Whereas, Threats to native plants include habitat destruction caused by development and urbanization, pollution, and harmful invasive plant species; and

Whereas, New Jersey’s nursery industry contributes over $440 million annually to the State’s agricultural output, with native plants being a continually growing segment of nursery production in the State, and many of the State’s retail garden centers are supplied locally by New Jersey nurseries; and

Whereas, By observing “Native Plant Appreciation Month,” the State recognizes the important role of native plants in the ecosystem, and encourages its residents to learn more about native plants, their habitats, and how to protect them; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. June of each year is designated as “Native Plant Appreciation Month” in order to celebrate the diversity and value of New Jersey’s native plants, recognize the critical role of native plants in the ecosystem, and encourage citizens to learn more about native plants and how to protect them.
2. The Governor shall annually issue a proclamation encouraging citizens of this State to observe “Native Plant Appreciation Month” with appropriate programs and activities, and to support local nurseries by buying native.
3. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT


This joint resolution designates June of each year as “Native Plant Appreciation Month” in order to celebrate the diversity and value of New Jersey’s native plants, recognize the critical role they play in the ecosystem, and encourage citizens to learn more about native plants and how to protect them.

Native plant species are a vital part of New Jersey’s heritage, providing valuable aesthetic, economic, and ecological benefits. New Jersey has more than 2,100 native plant species, some of which are globally rare and are found only in New Jersey. The diversity of the State’s flora is due in large part to its geographical diversity, which includes forests, mountains, pinelands, salt marshes, and valleys. Native plants contribute billions of dollars in ecosystem goods and services to the State annually. More importantly, however, native plants contribute to the State’s biodiversity, which provides inhabitants with food, fresh air and water, pollination services, climate stabilization, and flood control, among many other things.



Unfortunately, studies have shown that New Jersey is rapidly losing its native plants due to development and urbanization, pollution, and harmful invasive species. By observing “Native Plant Appreciation Month,” the State recognizes the important role of native plants in the ecosystem, and encourages its residents to learn more about them.

(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 6/7/2016)


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