Monarch City USA, a nationwide organization dedicated to preserving the dwindling monarch butterfly population, recently named Venice a a Monarch City. Nearly a billion monarchs—or 90 percent of their population—have vanished since 1990; that loss comes from farmers and gardeners spraying herbicides on milkweed plants, a food source, nursery and home for butterflies. Other threats include the loss of habitat as a result of development. Monarchs are critical pollinators, helping grow the food humans and animals rely upon.
However, despite the catastrophic decrease in their population, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week that the monarch will not be part of its Endangered Species Act. Inclusion on the list "is warranted, but precluded by work on higher-priority listing actions," the agency said in a statement.
To help the monarch population recover, the city of Venice will plant milkweed and other nectar plants. Monarch City also provides street signs with photos of the butterfly on them. Venice Area Beautification, Inc., Keep Venice Beautiful and Venice in Bloom all helped the city of Venice achieve its Monarch City designation.