Did you know that native plants play a critical role in protecting the waters of Barnegat Bay? Native plants are uniquely adapted to exist in the soils, ecosystems, and conditions of a region. They provide a host of beneficial resources to the local environment, including the filtration of polluted runoff using their root systems. Exotic, or non-native, species do not have the same natural predators that keep their populations in check, which prevents them from providing the same benefits to ecosystems. In fact, many are invasive species that can overpower native vegetation and throw nature out of balance. For more answers to FAQs about native plants, you can follow this link.
Save Barnegat Bay supported legislation passed back in 2017 to require that native plants be planted along major state-controlled roadways. A bill shortly after launched the Jersey Native Plants Program, which bolstered native plant sales at garden centers and plant nurseries statewide. Under this law, which is part of the NJ Department of Agriculture’s (DOA) Jersey Fresh Program, plants from NJ are labeled in marketplaces so customers are easily able to identify them as native species. If you are interested in learning more about the legislative history of these initiatives, you can read more about it on our web page linked here. Additionally, legislative documents are linked below:
Homeowners, businesses, and state leaders alike play important roles in supporting native plants in New Jersey. We created this page to serve as a helpful resource in understanding which plants are native, businesses from which to purchase these species for your own yard, and the benefits these unique species contribute to the health of the Barnegat Bay watershed. The following link is generally the easiest place to see the nurseries that sell native plants (please note that “Jersey-friendly” does not mean the same thing as “native”):
In support of native plants and their value in the Save Barnegat Bay’s mission, the Emily deCamp Herbarium was founded by the deCamp family and friends who love nature and want to promote it in an engaging and educational fashion. The Herbarium’s mission is to show how diverse and fantastic New Jersey’s native wildlife can be by illustrating the chain of life, by teaching it in an interesting way, and helping the public get started in their own area. The Emily de Camp Herbarium is located at the Forked River Interpretive Center and Coast Guard Station 112 (a former Coast Guard Station) in Island Beach State Park, south of Seaside Park, NJ. More information on the herbarium, including an inventory of the different species it houses, is linked here.