Law Would Be the First-of-a-Kind in the Country
(EDISON) — Assemblywoman Nancy J. Pinkin (D-Middlesex) introduced legislation designating the Io moth as the New Jersey State Moth.
New Jersey would be the first state in the United States to declare a State Moth. The Io Moth can be found in most parts of the state. New Jersey currently recognizes a state flower, state insect, state shell and a state fish, among others.
“It is clear that moths play a vital role in the health of our ecosystem as pollinators and as food for birds, mammals and insects,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “It is alarming that over the past 40 years, moth has declined globally, pointing to the sensitive nature of our environment. Moths are important indicator of changes in our environment and I fear that their decline could be a harbinger of things to come. By highlighting the Io moth, it is my hope that we bring more attention to changes in our eco-system.”
The bill was prompted by efforts of the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission as well as third graders at Lawrence Brook Elementary School in East Brunswick. Residents David Moskowitz and Liti Haramaty created National Moth Week and events are now held throughout the nation and world highlighting the role moths play in the environment.
“The Io moth is one of the most beautiful moths in New Jersey and an excellent spotlight on our incredibly rich, but very much under-appreciated moth biodiversity. It also is the symbol of National Moth Week, a global citizen science project that originated in New Jersey and is focused on the appreciation and study of moths,” said David Moskowitz, co-founder of National Moth Week and president of the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission.
“By naming a state moth, New Jersey would show the rest of the country that it values the role moths play in the ecosystem and recognizes their beauty, biodiversity and importance to the environment,” said Liti Haramaty of East Brunswick, co-founder of National Moth Week.
National Moth Week is a project of the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission. It grew out of local “moth nights” in the township, and quickly went global. Events now take place in all 50 states and more than 40 countries. This year, National Moth Week will be observed July 18-26.