ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, will be wrapping ash trees at recreation areas including Saylorville Lake, Lake Red Rock, Coralville Lake and the Mississippi River Project to bring awareness of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) to visitors during the Memorial Day weekend. Each ash tree wrapped will show the detrimental effects the EAB could have on recreation areas in the Rock Island District if infestations are allowed to spread.
EAB is an exotic wood boring insect that was accidentally introduced into the U.S. from eastern Asia in the early 1990s however the pest was not discovered until 2002. Currently there are 23 states with confirmed infestations of EAB. The larvae of the EAB kill ash trees by tunneling directly underneath the bark and destroying the tree’s circulatory system. EAB has damaged or killed millions of ash trees in affected states since it was introduced.
On Jan. 13, 2015, positive identification of the EAB was made at Blanding Landing Recreation Area near Hanover, Illinois, in rural Jo Daviess County. EAB larvae were found by Corps of Engineers, Mississippi River project staff while inspecting suspect trees and a positive identification was made by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Currently this is the only Corps managed recreation area in the Rock Island District confirmed with EAB activity. This was not the first identification of EAB in the county which had already been placed in the state and federal EAB quarantine area.
Memorial Day weekend traditionally serves as a kick-off for camping and outdoor recreation in the District. Campers visiting lakes and rivers often wish to transport firewood from their homes to use while staying in the recreation areas. The transportation of EAB infested firewood can quickly spread the infestation to new areas. With over 1,900 campsites in the Rock Island District, the potential is high for introducing invasive pests such as the EAB. Help prevent the spread of EAB to your favorite recreation spot by not transporting firewood! For information on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District’s firewood policy and other recreation information visit: http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation.aspx. For information on EAB and quarantine boundary lines throughout the country, visit: www.emeraldashborer.info.
Release no. 15-033