January 6, 2023 | njspotlightnews.org
New Jersey is taking steps toward curbing its severe problem with invasive species after a legislative panel approved a bill that would ban trade in more than two dozen non-native plants unless permitted by the state.
NJ SEED: NJ, so often proud of being “first”, is late to the table with respect to invasive species. The issue impacts both interstate and international commerce. Forty-four other states have invasive species restrictions. It is time NJ joins that majority. With the ports of Newark and Elizabeth among the nation’s busiest, NJ is a gateway for invasive species.
A classic example of invasive species is Kudzu, “the vine that ate the south”, and is increasingly evident in NJ. It was introduced into the United States at the Japanese Pavilion during the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Kudzu was discarded afterward and has subsequently spread (sometimes with the help of the government) across America’s southeastern states and generally proved itself to be an unstoppable nuisance.