Hurricane Sandy Emergency Supplemental Funding
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Facilities To Be Repaired
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will receive $68.2 million to make repairs to 25 national wildlife refuges and three national fish hatcheries from Florida to Maine.
The funds will be invested to restore facilities to their pre-Sandy condition. Projects will include debris field clean-up, rebuilding roads, trails, and other public access facilities, and restoring important ecosystems that benefit communities as well as wildlife. In many areas, the Service will restore facilities to be more resilient and withstand future storms and rising sea levels.
The Service will now develop project implementation plans and timelines. Damages that will be repaired include:
New York: Clean up along the southern coast of Long Island and the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which bore the brunt of the storm, will include the removal of boats, debris and hazardous materials along 6.5 miles of national wildlife refuge boundary along the shore. This work will require aerial surveys, the involvement of expert contaminants specialists, and restoration of coastal areas following clean up. Repairs will be made to visitor facilities and refuge buildings to ensure visitor and employee safety. The sensitive marshlands bordering Long Island Sound are an important buffer for urban centers, including New York City.
New Jersey: Sandy left behind a 22-mile debris field in the marshes and wetlands along the coastal boundary of E.B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. Salvage operations will continue to recover the 176 boats that were stranded, potentially carrying up to 6,500 gallons of fuel and other hazardous materials. After clean up, additional work may be needed to restore these wetlands that are critical migratory stopovers for waterfowl and important buffers against storms and sea level rise for coastal communities.
Repairs will also be made to visitor facilities, including boardwalks and visitor buildings at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Walkill River National Wildlife Refuge, and Cape May National Wildlife Refuge.
Delaware: Sea-level rise and increased coastal storms have been degrading the man-made freshwater marsh system at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and turning it into an open water system - which is not good for wildlife and is not resilient. Hurricane Sandy greatly accelerated that process. We will invest supplemental funding to begin one of the largest coastal marsh restoration projects on the Atlantic seaboard. Once we secure enough sediment, we will build a low dune that was destroyed by Sandy as the first phase of a large restoration project.
Connecticut: We will remove debris along several islands that make up Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, and assess additional damage repair needs.
Rhode Island: Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex suffered significant damage. Hurricane Sandy washed out the only public road to Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. Supplemental funding will be used to repair that road as well as trails at the refuge. Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge will remove a significant amount of debris and evaluate how to address a sizable dune breach.
Virginia: Roads, trails, boat launches and buildings at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Eastern Virginia Rivers National Wildlife Refuge will be repaired. Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, a beach destination for 1.5 million visitors a year, sustained the most significant damage in Virginia. Repairs will be made to buildings and roads at this important ecotourism destination. Emergency power will also be enhanced at Chesapeake Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
North Carolina: While the Southeast did not realize the full force of Hurricane Sandy, powerful winds and flooding damaged or destroyed roads and other infrastructure at two national wildlife refuges. Repairs will be made to the water management capabilities at Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. At Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, water control structures and visitor center damage will be repaired.
At Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge, Hurricane Sandy ripped large sections of a bulkhead that surrounds the refuge's Live Oak Point, causing massive erosion. The erosion is compromising the safety of Mackay Island Road, the only auto tour route on the refuge. The Point is historically significant as the location that "Ducks Unlimited" was founded. Replacing this bulkhead protects Mackay Island Road and habitat used heavily by wintering waterfowl, and protects a place where the seeds of an important part of America's conservation movement were planted.
West Virginia: Hurricane Sandy dumped up to three feet of snow in some areas of West Virginia. Supplemental funding will be used to make property repairs and remove debris at Service facilities at Canaan Valley NWR and White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery. We will also repair emergency power capacity that was destroyed at the National Conservation Training Center.
Maryland: Repairs will be made to the visitor center at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.
Pennsylvania: Repairs will be made to fish culture equipment at the Northeast Fishery Center in Lamar.
Maine: Visitor facilities and buildings at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and Maine Coastal National Wildlife Refuge Complex will be repaired. At Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, water control structures which failed during the storm will be repaired.
Massachusetts: Roads and damaged buildings will be repaired at Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and enhance emergency power capacity at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.
New Hampshire: Debris will be removed at Nashua National Fish Hatchery.
Florida: At Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, a boardwalk that crosses a dune for public access to beach habitat will be repaired.