Below is a link to local Channel 55 CBS News press coverage
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urban forestry program accepted the final grant payment of $300,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the U.S. Forest Service to partner with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County (CCE-NC) to replant trees removed as part of the State's Asian Longhorned beetle (ALB) eradication effort. USDA has provided $1 million to DEC to coordinate this pest eradication project in the Long Island ALB quarantine zone. To kick-off the replanting event, DEC was joined by local partners for a ceremonial tree planting at Marjorie Post Park in Massapequa, Nassau County.
The ALB was first found in Amityville, Suffolk County, in 2008. Since that time, communities have replaced the trees removed due to the infestation. In July 2013, infested trees were discovered within the quarantine zone, largely in the town of Babylon. These trees were removed by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to limit the spread of the pest.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "The Department, working in close partnership with the DEC, the USDA and CCE-NC, has been actively working with the community to control the spread of this invasive insect. We have made progress with the deregulation of Eastern Queens but continue our aggressive approach to combat the beetle in other areas, including on Long Island. I'm pleased the State has been able to secure the critical funding needed to replant the trees removed, providing an opportunity for healthy new tree growth and regeneration for years to come."
After a tip from an alert citizen, DEC and APHIS investigated the quarantine zone and identified 500 newly infested trees. The town of Babylon has replanted more than 100 trees on public property, including sites along Routes 109 and 110 and around Republic Airport. Trees will be planted along the Southern State Parkway to help replace trees removed in that area. The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County will continue to coordinate replanting on private property, including private residential yards, St. Charles Cemetery, New Montefiore Cemetery, St. Charles Cemetery, and Mt. Ararat Cemetery.
In addition, CCE-NC has entered into an agreement with the town of Babylon to replant trees on municipal property within the quarantine zone. Residents will also have the opportunity to plant a replacement tree at or near the site of a removed tree as part of the program. In total, CCE-NC has planted more than 1,000 trees since 2015.
"On behalf of the entire CCE-NC Association I would like to thank APHIS, USDA, U.S. Forest Service, NYS DEC and our many other local partners for your on-going support with our ALB replanting efforts here in the Quarantine Zone on Long Island" said Gregory M. Sandor, Executive Director, CCE-NC.
"Over the past two years this partnership has been a tremendous success with over 1,000 trees planted from a diverse list of trees and put together by our local CCE-NC staff. With this $300,000 extension of this grant, we look forward to continuing our replanting efforts and working closely with our local, state and federal partners."
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Last updated June 2, 2017