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Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative: Creating Habitat in Ohio
Monarch butterfly populations and the habitat they need are in decline across North America, Mexico and Canada. Ohio has been identified as a priority state for monarch migration and fourth-generation monarchs. Fourth-generation monarchs are the individuals who will travel back to Mexico, spend the winter there, and then start their amazing life cycle all over again in the spring, ending back up in Ohio the next summer.

In May 2015, the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators (The Pollinator Health Task Force) tasked all states to work through federal, state, public and private actions in order to restore or create pollinator habitat with the goal of 7 million acres across the United States over the next five years.

The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) is meeting this challenge head-on, working with multiple partners throughout the state in order to achieve this goal. OPHI is a statewide network of diverse partners that work together to provide education, outreach, research, hands on conservation, native seed collection, and technical assistance to all that have an interest in pollinators and protecting our food supply.

Our growing list of partners include the Ohio Department of Transportation, American Electric Power, Pheasants Forever, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, The U.S. Department of Agriculture, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, The Ohio State University Extension, The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources, Wright State University Biological Sciences, and the Levin Family Foundation.

We need Your Partnership

It will take all of us working together to achieve our goal of providing pollinator and monarch butterfly habitat across the state of Ohio. It will take each of us, doing all we can, where we can. It may be in your backyard garden, at your school, church or place of business. The potential is great and opportunities exist almost everywhere. From big to small, these projects have the potential to help reverse the decline in monarch and other pollinator populations. We are looking for partners to help grow OPHI. You or your organization can help us sustain our efforts through a variety of ways including social media and online communication, outreach and public education, technical support and assistance, financial support, hands-on habitat creation, and more.

We fully believe that through a collective effort we can reach these goals to provide a healthier future for monarchs and Ohio pollinators.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
E-mail: Marci Lininger (marci_lininger@fws.gov)
Jeff Burris (jeffrey.burris@dnr.state.oh.us)
Lori Stevenson (lori_stevenson@fws.gov)

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