‘Monarch Wings Across Ohio’ Campaign Launches with Aggressive Effort to Save the Species

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(EnviroNews World News) — The organization Pollinator Partnership is at it again. What’s that? Doing its best to save another species in peril of course.

The group announced in a press release on May 28, 2015, its launch of the “Monarch Wings Across Ohio” campaign — a movement that seeks to accomplish the boundless planting of milkweed across the Buckeye State.

In its primary migratory highway containing Ohio and other midwestern states, the blazingly beautiful, yet delicate creature has been hit hard, and populations have plummeted in recent years. The suspected culprit in the sharp decline is Monsanto glyphosate products. The problem was explained thusly by the Los Angeles Times:

[T]he decline is due in great part to the widespread use of the herbicide glyphosate. In key U.S. states where the butterfly feeds and breeds — Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, parts of Ohio and the eastern Dakotas — farmers have planted more than 120 million acres of corn and soybeans genetically modified to resist the herbicide… That allows them to use glyphosate to kill milkweed, the monarchs’ essential food.

After witnessing a horrifying free-fall in Monarch populations over the last few years, bystanders are now left to hope and pray that Pollinator Partnership’s milkweed propagating efforts have a strong and positive effect.

The Pollinator Partnership press release is below:

The Pollinator Partnership (P2) along with The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation will launch a new program this week called “Monarch Wings Across Ohio” in response to the Presidential directive on supporting the monarch migration. As many people know, the monarch migration is in peril. The number of monarchs making the annual migration has plummeted in recent years, but Ohioans have stepped forward in unprecedented numbers to make a difference. Support for monarchs starts with one thing that everyone can do: plant for monarchs! The planting begins next week across Ohio with the delivery of two semi-trailer trucks filled with milkweeds and other essential nectar plants.

Monarch butterflies require regionally specific host milkweeds on which they can lay their eggs as well as nectar-supplying plants for energy to successfully complete the migration. Monarch Wings Across Ohio is working with a diverse collation of partners to install nearly 20 monarch habitat research plots across partners’ land in the following settings; urban ecosystems, agriculture, corporate lands, and public gardens. Monarch habitat research plots will beautify the spaces they will occupy and provide valuable insight into monarch foraging preferences.

Regionally-based field researchers have been hired across Ohio to collect data on the nectaring plantings monarchs prefer to feed on to fuel their migration. Planting will occur in June (close to National Pollinator Week – June 15-21), and the plots will stay in place for at least three years.

The coalition of partners across Ohio that have joined the program is still growing and includes:

The J.M. Smucker Company
FirstEnergy
The Ohio State University Bee Lab
American Beauties Native Plants
Cleveland MetroParks
Mill Creek MetroParks
Cleveland Botanical Garden
The Holden Arboretum
New Vista Enterprises
Bikes, Bees and Butterflies
National Park Service / Countryside Conservancy

MWAO Project leader, Mary Byrne, has made this unique collaboration her top priority. “At the Pollinator Partnership, we believe that partnerships are the key element for successful on-the-ground change, and the solid science behind all of our collaborations is the single most important influence guiding Monarch Wings Across Ohio. Northeast Ohio organizations have shown remarkable commitment to and leadership in stabilizing the monarch migration.””

“Here at Canal Corners Farm we are always looking for ways to improve our farming techniques. Supporting pollinators and the monarch migration just makes sense to our bottom line. We are looking forward to participating in habitat research and improving knowledge base for creating monarch habitat in all kinds of settings,” says Meghan Wingenfeld, Owner Canal Corners Farm, Monarch Wings Across Ohio Partner.

“Monarch Wings Across Ohio is bringing together so many sectors to work towards the common goal of helping monarchs, it’s really inspiring to see what people can do when they join forces and it is a perfect response to the Federal Strategy for Pollinators announced by President Obama on Monday.” Laurie Davies Adams, P2 Executive Director. “Ohio is showing real leadership by providing on-the-ground change through resources, research and results.”

The Monarch Wings Across Ohio program is fueled by tax-deductible donations. To find out how you can get involved, please contact Mary Byrnes at [email protected], and to find out more about the program visit http://www.pollinator.org/monarchs.htm.

Pollinator Week 2015 is June 15 to 21, 2015! What are you doing? That’s easy! Add your pollinator garden to the national SHARE map and hold a pollinator event! www.pollinator.org.

ABOUT THE POLLINATOR PARTNERSHIP (P2)
Established in 1997, the Pollinator Partnership is the largest 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to the health, protection, and conservation of all pollinating animals. Pollinator Partnership’s actions for pollinators include education, conservation, restoration, policy, and research. P2’s financial support comes through grants, gifts, memberships and donations from any interested party. Its policies are science-based, set by its board of directors, and never influenced by any donor. To make a donation or for information on events during Pollinator Week visit www.pollinator.org.

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