Mayors seek assistance in battle against invasive species - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Mayors seek assistance in battle against invasive species

by Jolene Toves

Guam - The Mayors Council is requesting help from the governor, while an island senator says a measure is already in place to secure funding.

Mayors have written a letter to Governor Eddie Calvo requesting his help in assisting their villages combat invasive species through proper green management. Last week  mayors approved a resolution requesting the letter be sent because of problems they've experienced with piles of green waste growing in their villages. The piles have become breeding grounds to the coconut rhinoceros beetles. The MCOG wrote this is an "environmental and agricultural emergency" and we need all the help we can get. Agreeing with the mayors  Senator Chris Duenas says he is committed to help battle invasive species, saying, "I support their call for a state of emergency I think it is obvious now to our public the situation with the rhino beetle and the little fire ant is really, really bad at this point."

In their letter to the governor mayors say the issue should be given a high priority to include additional funding from the Guam Visitors Bureau, Guam Economic Development Authority or the Recycling Revolving Fund.

Meanwhiel, Senator Duenas says law is already in place that would help secure funding and is awaiting full implementation, noting, "It basically would create a fee that would be charged on the importation of cargo that would provide up to $2 million annually in resources to fight these invasive species."

Senator Duenas' law not only focuses on green waste it also creates the bio-security division that is supposed to enforce the issue. "Its part of the bio-security master plan that's actually supposed to be created. The bill created bio-security division up at the Department of Agriculture I'm sure that the recommendations from UOG and other scientists would call for that but in order to fund the bio-security plan we need to have the resources in place," he said.

The council is also asking the governor to seek assistance from the federal government in providing more resources to combat these issues since it will eventually affect federal installations and parks.

We should note that a roundtable is scheduled for April 15th to discuss Senator Duenas' law.

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