Jenna Ladd | June 27, 2016
This week’s On The Radio segment discusses a memorandum to protect and revive pollinator habitat that was signed by five U.S. states last month.
Transcript: Iowa Department of Transportation joins regional effort to protect pollinators
The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) and transportation departments in five other states have joined forces to improve pollinator habitat along Interstate 35.
This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.
Supported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), transportation officials from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Texas met last month in Des Moines to sign a memorandum of understanding. The memo asks that states work together to promote habitat conservation and renewal for monarch butterflies, honeybees and other pollinators along Interstate 35. The interstate, otherwise known as “the Monarch Highway,” is the primary route that Monarchs take between Mexico and Canada.
Mark Masteller, Chief Landscape Architect for the Iowa DOT, led the Interstate 35 initiative.
Masteller: “This memorandum provides additional support for the Iowa DOT’s practice of seeding native grasses and wildflowers in the highway rights of way. In addition to benefiting pollinators, these native species provide improved erosion control and improved control of blowing and drifting snow for the highway user.”
A 2014 memo by the Obama Administration declared that pollinators are vital to the United States’ economy, food security, and environmental health. Quantified, honey bees alone add upwards of $15 million dollars to agricultural crops every year.
For more information about these five states’ efforts to protect pollinators, visit Iowa-Environmental-Focus-dot-org.
From the University of Iowa Center for Global and Environmental Research, I’m Nick Fetty.