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Hurricane Tree Recovery Campaign Aims to Plant 5 Million Trees in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria didn't just destroy buildings and dump several feet of water into several American communities—the powerful winds also snapped and downed innumerable trees, altering treasured landscapes.
That's why the Arbor Day Foundation launched its Hurricane Tree Recovery Campaign in an effort to help tree restoration efforts in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico following this year's string of devastating hurricanes. The program, which debuted in October, aims to plant a total of five million trees over the next five years as a way to contribute to the rebuilding efforts in the affected communities.
"It may take years for these canopies to be restored, but now is the time to begin," Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation President, said in a UN Climate Programme report. "While it could be months until final disaster numbers are reported, what we do know is that these events and our need to act are dire."
The three major hurricanes left a combined damage of more than $200 billion. And while insurance covers some of the costs to rebuild damaged infrastructure, they do not compensate for lost trees and landscapes in the communities, the Arbor Day Foundation noted.
South Carolina Army National Guard Responds to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico October 2017.Flickr
The benefits of trees are incalculable, from providing oxygen and cooling our city streets with shade, to helping us relax and connect with nature.
"Trees and forests not only play an essential role in creating healthy, thriving communities where our citizens live, work and play but are also critical to the economic engine of Harvey-impacted areas and essential to our recovery efforts," Tom Boggus, Texas state forester, said in the UN report.
On Thursday, telecommunications giant Verizon announced it was joining the effort, and has committed to planting 250,000 trees as part of the campaign. This is the second time the company has collaborated with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees in hurricane-affected areas.
“Thousands of people are continuing to feel the impact of the hurricanes, including our customers and employees. We have made a commitment to aid in disaster relief efforts, and do our part to repair the communities affected by these storms," said Jim Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon. “An important part of this effort is restoring vegetation, and we are proud to expand our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to join them in this mission."
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to planting trees. Since 1972, the organization has planted more than 300 million trees in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests around the world.
To find out more about the hurricane tree recovery campaign, click here.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."