“Butterfly Highways” Coming to Illinois Monarch License Plate Will Fund Habitat Restoration for the State Insect

CHICAGO – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a law that gives the green light for a new monarch butterfly license plate that will generate funds to support butterfly habitat. The “Roadside Monarch Habitat Fund,” will be used for monarch and other pollinator habitat development, enhancement, and restoration projects throughout the state.

Milkweed, the plant monarch caterpillars need to survive, once covered Illinois, but the widespread use of glyphosate-based pesticides has decimated milkweed and the monarchs along with it; monarch populations have declined 80 percent in 25 years due primarily to habitat destruction.

The following is a statement from Rebecca Riley, Senior Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Illinois’s new monarch license plate creates a lifeline for monarch butterflies, which are struggling to survive. Putting the plate on your car will fund projects to create the habitat the butterflies need to make their epic migration from Mexico to Canada. That milkweed habitat used to be ubiquitous in Illinois, now we are finding places to restore it along roadsides and in parks around the state.

“Thanks to the leadership of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois General Assembly, which voted overwhelmingly to support the habitat that supports the state insect.”


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us atwww.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.


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