A new law requires three statewide transportation agencies to use native-grown plants in their landscaping.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation, the South Jersey Transportation Authority and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority will be required to follow the ruling in an effort to help the environment and ease taxpayer spending.

By using native plants, these agencies will avoid costly maintenance and replanting projects that are necessary to care for plants not acclimatized to local conditions. Since the native plants already grow in the area, agencies can also avoid using fertilizers that transfer pollutants to the waterways when they are washed away in storms.

Governor Chris Christie signed the law, which is the first of its kind in the nation, on May 1. It was originally drafted by Save Barnegat Bay and representatives of the 10th Legislative District.

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