On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina swept through western Alabama damaging large portions of the state’s urban forest, especially along the coastal regions.  The impacts from hurricane strength winds in western Alabama and storm surge along the gulf coast left Alabama’s urban forests in need of repair and in many instances replacement.  The US Forest Service has responded by allocating funds for the assessment, remediation, and replacement of Katrina impacted urban forests in Alabama. 

Hurricane Katrina

These funds were made available on December 21, 2005, when Congress authorized the Defense Authorization Bill (H.R. 1815), for “urgently needed activities associated with Hurricane Katrina and Rita recovery, clean-up and restoration.”  This measure provides $243,500 for disaster assistance to priority one communities designated by Presidential Declaration.  Priority one communities in Mobile, Baldwin, Washington Clarke, Choctaw, Marengo, Sumter, Hale, Greene, Pickens, and Tuscaloosa counties will be given special consideration, however, all communities are invited to submit proposals.

Auburn University, through the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, has contracted with the USDA Forest Service to serve as the pass-through entity for the “Hurricane Katrina Financial Assistance Program” in Alabama.  This financial assistance program unlike many previous programs does not require cost sharing.  One hundred percent of qualifying project will be funded.


The $243,500 is available to local governments including county, municipal, city, and town governments.  The funds are also available to nonprofit organizations with tax-exempt status under Section 501© and educational institutions such as universities and colleges where major functions are instruction, organized research, sponsored activities and other institutional activities. 

Evergree tree planting


All applications are required to have a postmarked date of October 27th, 2006 to be eligible.  Local communities, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations who sustained damage to their urban forests during Hurricane Katrina are encouraged to apply.  For application information visit Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Urban and Community website at or contact Beau Brodbeck at the Baldwin County Extension Office in Bay Minette Alabama by email at or by phone at 251-937-7176.

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