Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Durbin Announces Federal Funding for Communities Infested by Emerald Ash Borer - Chicago, IL

Durbin Announces Federal Funding for Communities Infested by Emerald Ash Borer

CHICAGO, IL--(ENEWSPF)--February 22, 2011.  Municipalities across Chicagoland will receive much needed federal assistance to manage and recover from the emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today. More than $1 million in federal funding is being distributed to fifty-eight communities in Illinois through a competitive grant program spearheaded by the Morton Arboretum and Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC). The funding was made available through the US Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and a Durbin-authored provision in the 2008 Farm Bill.

“Around 20 percent of the trees in Chicago are ash trees, and as the infestation rapidly spreads, communities across the region are struggling with the costs associated with combating this destructive beetle. Many communities have tens of thousands of ash trees at risk. At an average cost of $500 per tree removal and a couple of hundred dollars more to replant a tree, an EAB infestation can have a serious economic impact on our communities. The federal funding distributed today will help alleviate the financial burden of removing infested trees and planting new ones for fifty-eight communities in the Chicagoland area. This has been a collaborative effort, and I am grateful for the work of The Morton Arboretum and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus,” Durbin said.

“This funding will not only address immediate local needs for coping with EAB, but will facilitate more comprehensive urban forest protection and growth to help maintain a robust canopy of trees for the long term. This is important to preserve the region's economic well being and help communities flourish,” Edith Makra, Arboretum Community Trees Advocate, said.

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