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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- An invasive insect is attacking more and more Hemlock trees in Maine. A group of high school students is helping to address the problem.

Students from Catherine Mcauley High School discovered Hemlock Woolley Adelgid in the Baxter Woods in November. It's the first time the invasive species has been found in mainland Portland. Thursday, the students helped the Maine Forest Service release beetles that will eat the invasive bugs and help protect the trees. The students say they have enjoyed the hands-on lessons outside the classroom.

"You go out into nature, you understand what's actually happening out in the real world and what's happening out in the forest, and being able to discover something that could protect future species" freshman Samantha Witkowski said.

Back in 2010, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid was found in only eight Maine communities. Now it's been found in forty-two cities and towns.

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