Protection efforts for pollinators underway in NYS

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Areas across New York State are making an effort to protect valuable ecosystems that pollinators provide.

Most attribute pollination to birds and bees — but butterflies, bats, beetles, moths, wasps, and flies are also apart of the pollinator population.

National Pollinator Week runs from June 19 to the 23, and the NYS Department of Transportation has taken steps across the state to protect nature’s pollinators and their habitats. They have increased the acreage with reduced or altered mowing practices in order to avoid disruption to pollinator life cycles. This provides late-season forage aiding in wildflower seed dispersal.

The Department says that they’ve worked to maintain pollinator gardens and offer new guidelines for vegetation management — including control methods other than mowing.

Specifically in the Finger Lakes Region, there are pollinator gardens at the rest stops on Interstate 390 northbound and southbound in Mount Morris. The gardens received plantings last year that will particularly support Monarch butterflies.

In Monroe County along I-390, the NYSDOT selected an area of 24 acres to be maintained in a way that promotes wildflower growth to support pollinators.

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez says that National Pollinator Week is an annual opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and their declining populations.

Pollinators are imperative in our ecosystems. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, all of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems would not survive without them. They explain that more than half the world’s diet of fats and oils come from animal-pollinated plants and more than 150 food crops depend on pollinators. Those food crops are estimated at a worth of over $10 billion every year.

For more on the importance of pollinators, click here.