Maryland Governor Wes Moore signs 2024 Biodiversity and Agriculture Protection Act (HB979/SB917)

| Advocacy

Happy Mother’s Day to Mother Nature (also known as Mother Earth or the Earth Mother)! I can think of no better gift than the signing of the 2024 Biodiversity and Agriculture Protection Act (HB979/SB917) by Governor Wes Moore on Thursday, May 9, 2024. Sponsored by Del. Linda Foley, Sen. Ben Brooks, and the Maryland Native Plant Coalition, the new law alters “the regulatory approach for controlling invasive plant species in the State, including repealing certain provisions of law relating to a two-tiered regulatory approach and requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a list of prohibited invasive plants by regulation in a certain manner on or before October 1, 2024; establishing certain protocols for assessing certain nonnative plants and determining whether those plants are invasive or whether the plants may be placed on a certain watch list; etc.”

The law takes effect June 1, 2024, then regulations must be adopted by the Sec. of Agriculture by Oct 1, 2024. This will enable the classification of invasive species to begin. When a plant is classified prohibited, sellers will have a 1 year draw down period before the plant is totally banned (2 years for woody plants). Importantly, it creates an efficient and durable process for identifying and prohibiting known and future invasive species.

Thank you to the members of Maryland’s local Wild Ones’ chapters who supported the bills through written and/or in-person testimony:

Wild Ones Chesapeake Bay Chapter

Wild Ones Greater Baltimore

Wild Ones Greater Frederick Maryland Chapter

Wild Ones Nation’s Capital

For more information, please visit:

Also, The University of Maryland Extension is hiring a native plants and landscapes specialist for a new tenure-track faculty position! Conduct applied research, develop educational programs, and engage in community outreach initiatives aimed at teaching and promoting the ecological benefits and use of native plant species in diverse landscapes. The specialist in this position will be part of the leadership team responsible for implementing the Maryland Native Plants Program along with the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Details

Photo credit: