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SJ Transportation Authority’s Environmental Initiatives Help Monarch Butterfly Population

Butterfly houses to be erected at South Jersey schools Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 19.8.00

photo-- Monarch butterflies will find shelter in specially designed houses erected by the SJTA at South Jersey schools.

Hammonton, NJ – March 13, 2018 --As part of its ongoing environmental initiatives, the South Jersey Transportation Authority is erecting butterfly houses and planting trees that naturally support the Monarch Butterfly, which is threatened by a loss of habitat in the Western Hemisphere.

The SJTA program could not come at a better time. Naturalists are alarmed by reports of reduced numbers of monarchs at their wintering grounds in Northern Mexico, where counts of the butterflies are conducted each year and reveal a disconcerting decline in numbers.

Renown for the brilliant colors and design on its wings, the Monarch migrates each spring from Mexico to the United States with many stopping over at Cape May, NJ, attracted by the prevalence of milkweed and other native plants there that are favored by the butterflies.

Through this initiative the SJTA will work with local schools to install specially designed wooden butterfly houses and plant trees native to the area that help attract and feed the butterflies on their migration. Students at the various schools will be invited to paint the butterfly houses and learn more about the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly.

“The Atlantic City Expressway occupies a significant footprint in South Jersey and as such we implement a number of programs like the butterfly houses and planting native trees to exert a positive impact on the environment in South Jersey and beyond,” explains South Jersey Transportation Authority Executive Director Stephen F. Dougherty.

The houses were built by students of the Camden County Technical Schools Sicklerville Campus with materials provided by the SJTA.

Crews from the Atlantic City Expressway’s Operations Department will be visiting schools to install the butterfly houses and plant trees in the coming month. Their first visit will be to the Slaybaugh Elementary School in Egg Harbor Twp. tomorrow.

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The South Jersey Transportation Authority operates:

* Atlantic City Expressway * Transportation Services * Atlantic City International Airport

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