In March 2022, Saint Paul Port Authority of Minnesota in the US sold $15.9 million in municipal sustainability bonds for its Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Project.
Environmental Finance Bond Awards judges said that this project stood out for its "interesting" work on invasive species. Emerald ash borer is an invasive insect that has killed millions of ash trees throughout the eastern half of the United States, devastating familiar landscapes and demanding an expensive clear-up.
This award recognises the work of the City of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Port Authority who partnered to issue sustainability bonds that would finance the replacement of dead, dying, or at-risk ash trees.
The project bonds will finance the replanting of new trees throughout the City of Saint Paul and support the city's removal of the stumps that were left behind from previous removals.
This will enable the Port and the City of Saint Paul to implement their replanting programme, which integrates critical aspects of environmental and social sustainability in urban forest management to address the ongoing impact of humans on local ecosystems, as well as building greater climate resilience and reducing public health risks for disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
The authorities hope their bond programme will become a model for other municipalities as they address similar issues.
Todd Hurley, president and CEO of Saint Paul Port Authority, says: "The Emerald ash borer project is a prime example of the Saint Paul Port Authority's commitment to economic development and job creation. We are thrilled to have been part of implementing a sustainable and equitable solution to a pressing problem that affects our community.
Trees are more than just greenery; they are the lifeblood of our community. Protecting them is crucial, and with this project, we're ensuring a better future for generations to come."