Policy Options

Pollinator Protection

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National

NCEL Point of Contact

Ruth Musgrave
Conservation Senior Advisor

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Overview

State legislatures have implemented a variety of solutions to protect pollinator populations and increase public awareness. The following list includes some of the different and transferable policy approaches U.S. states have taken to protect pollinators and address the various threats to these species and their habitats.

Funding 

  • New Jersey S.92 (2021) & Colorado H.B.21-1145 (2021) – Establishes pollinator license plates with the generated funds to go towards pollinator health protection projects.
  • Minnesota S.F.550 (2017) – Allocates money from the “Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund” to fund pollinator studies, restore pollinator habitat, and improve pollinator roadside safety.
  • New York 3004 (2017) – Allocates money from the state capital projects fund to establish biodiversity stewardship and research for the support of pollinator diversity.
  • Maryland H.B.132 (2016) – Funding for relevant state agencies to establish a pollinator habitat plan.

Community Education and Partnership

  • Virginia H.B.2030 (2021) – Directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to study means of improving communications between beekeepers and applicators to reduce the threat of neonicotinoids. Published study released in 2021.
  • Pennsylvania H.R.385 (2019) & Governor’s Office Proclamation (2021) – Declaring a week in June as Pollinator Week, with a Pollinator Week toolkit released in 2021.
  • Rhode Island H.8183 (2018) – Establish pollinator working groups and coordinate its actions with state agencies to make findings & recommendations for the improvement of pollinator health.
  • California A.B.2421 (2018) – Establishes a Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Rescue Program which can give grants to private landowners and others for Monarch Butterfly and pollinator habitat.
  • New Jersey A.R.216 (2017) – Encourages homeowners to plant native plants that support bee populations and create habitat for all pollinators.

Habitat Protection and Improvement

  • Colorado H.J.R.12-2109 (2017) –  Designates a segment of Interstate Highway 76 as the “Colorado Pollinator Highway” and encourages the transportation department to implement integrated roadside management.
  • Washington S.B.5253 (2021) – Implements the Pollinator Health Task Force’s recommendations to establish a program to promote and protect pollinator habitat and the health and sustainability of pollinator species.
  • Minnesota S.F.20 (2021) – Implements a variety of pollinator habitat protections measures such as identifying best pollinator habitats, enhancing roadside habitat, creating new habitat along the Mississippi River, replacing turf with native plants, and partnering with citizen science groups.
  • Minnesota H.F.776 (2019) – Creates a “Lawns to Legumes” Program to allow citizens to apply for grants to develop pollinator habitat in their yards. State ecologists have created planting guides and tips online for interested homeowners. (Final language was in SF 7, the omnibus appropriations bill, and contained $902,000)
  • South Carolina H.4875 (2018) – Enacts the” South Carolina Solar Habitat Act” to establish voluntary solar best management practices for commercial solar energy generation sites
  • Illinois S.B.3214 (2018) – Creates the “Pollinator Friendly Solar Site Act”  to provide grants to private landowners with solar energy generation to protect native pollinators. 
  • California A.B.2062 (2018) -Requires planting projects undertaken or approved by the department to include CA native wildflowers and native and climate-appropriate vegetation as an integral and permanent part of the planting design.
  • New York A.8083A (2018) – Develops guidelines for vegetation management plans to be used by persons or corporations that make claims that they provide pollinator protection.
  • Maryland H.B.83 (2017) – Establishes a specified pollinator habitat plan to include specified best management practices for the designation of specified habitat areas.
  • New Jersey S.83 (2022) – Establishes the “New Jersey Native Plants Program” to encourage and promote the sale of native plants to increase consumer awareness about native plant’s important role for pollinators through advertising and marketing campaigns.

Advisory Boards and Research

  • Colorado S.B.22-199 (2022) – Calling for a study regarding the protection of native pollinating insects in the state.
  • Washington S.B.5552 (2019) – The department of agriculture shall create and chair a pollinator health task force. This task force will study and find best ways to protect pollinators in the state.
  • Delaware S.C.R.50 (2019) – Calls on Congress to take action to pollinator population by researching the causes of pollinator population losses and determining how to increase pollinator populations throughout the US and world.

Pesticide Restriction and Regulation

  • New Jersey S.1016 (2022) – Restricts the use of neonicotinoids pesticides designed for outdoor use. 
  • Vermont H.626 (2022) –  Prohibits the use of neonicotinoid pesticides until the adoption of new rules of use. Prohibition becomes permanent if new rules are not created by 7/1/2024.
  • Connecticut S.B.120 (2022) – Prohibits the use of chlorpyrifos on golf courses and for nonagricultural use and to restrict the use of neonicotinoids for nonagricultural use.
  • Rhode Island H.B.7129 & Rhode Island S.B.2299 (2022) – Labels neonicotinoid pesticides as limited use pesticides and restricts their usage to certified applicators. 
  • New York S.899 (2021) – Prohibits the vast use of glyphosate pesticides on state property.
  • Maryland S.B.0375 & Maryland H.B.0208 (2021) – Restricts the sale of neonicotinoids pesticides only to certain certified applicators or farmers.
  • Vermont H.205 (2019) – Regulates the sale of neonicotinoid pesticides primarily through registrations.
  • Hawaii S.R.136 (2019) – Recognizes the threats that insecticides pose to pollinators and urges the Departments of Land & Natural Resources and Agriculture to limit pollinator exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides.

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