Hurricane Sandy Recovery
Recovery, restoration & building coastal resilience
Beach at Long Island National Wildlife Refuges Complex - USFWS

Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Location: Long Island, NY


Resilience Outline Resilience Projects Recovery Icon Recovery Projects

Resil Shield

Salt Marsh Restoration and Enhancement

Location: Seatuck & Wertheim National Wildlife Refuges, Lido Beach Wildlife Management Area

Project Type: Resilience

Funding: $11,093,000

Project Summary

Restore natural functions in damaged and degraded coastal salt marshes on Long Island through an integrated approach that addresses tidal hydrology, surface water habitat, invasive species, living shoreline stabilization and sea level rise. Restoration of natural hydrology will increase resilience and decrease long-term vulnerability and risk from storm events.

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Resil Shield

Project: A Stronger Coast - Three USFWS Northeast Region National Wildlife Refuge Projects to Increase Coastal Resilience and Preparedness

Location: Regional

Project Type: Resilience

Funding: $2,060,000

Project Summary

The three projects included in this study are intended to identify vulnerabilities and strengths of over 70 miles of shoreline at coastal refuges, assess the integrity of over 30,000 acres of coastal marsh that protect adjacent shorelines and help preserve the species they support.

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Recovery hammer

Project: Provide Backup Power - Generator, Solar and Electrical Improvements

Project Type: Recovery

Funding: $686,594

Project Summary

This project will provide backup and solar photovoltaic power to facilities at the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Conservation / Restoration Goals

  • Supply reliable ancillary power sources to FWS buildings
  • Utilize renewable (solar) electrical systems where possible

Project Benefits

  • Ensures reliable backup power to facilities during emergency outages
  • Reduces annual utility bills for FWS facilities, saving taxpayer dollars
  • Reduces FWS facilities' carbon footprints

Additional Details

This project is one of many regionally planned electrical upgrades to facilities at National Wildlife Refuges and other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stations. Hurricane Sandy and previous storms have knocked out power to headquarters, visitor centers, maintenance buildings, staff housing and supporting structures including garages and visitor restrooms. Outages have damaged sensitive electronic equipment, disabled heating and cooling and resulted in burst frozen water pipes. Equipping buildings with backup generators will enable them to weather outages more effectively and serve as resources for their communities for communications and emergency coordination efforts. In addition, stations equipped with photovoltaic solar panels will see their dependency on off-site power grids reduced or eliminated. Solar power systems will also reduce facilities' carbon footprints and save taxpayer dollars through reduced utility bills.


Recovery hammer

Project: Remove Debris and Trees, Infrastructure Repair

Project Type: Recovery

Funding: $4,042,434

Project Summary

This project will remove debris deposited by Hurricane Sandy into coastal marshes, remove downed timber from forested areas, and repair damage to refuge buildings, roads, trails, gates, fences, dikes and an observation platform at the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge complex.

Conservation / Restoration Goals

  • Clean and restore coastal marsh habitat, including freshwater marsh
  • Prevent elevated fire risk by removing downed timber
  • Repair refuge infrastructure
  • Mitigate public safety concerns

Project Benefits

  • Restores and protects habitat for several species of birds
  • Restores visitor wildlife observation opportunities
  • Reduces fire threat to refuge and neighboring communities
  • Provides increased observation and educational opportunities for local students

Additional Details

Hurricane Sandy left a blanket of debris, including hazardous materials, covering marshes at all of Long Island's refuges, including the Wertheim, Target Rock, Oyster Bay, Seatuck, Sayville, Amagansett, Conscience Point and Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuges and the Lido Beach Wildlife Management Area. The operation will ultimately clean up 8 of the national wildlife refuge units on Long Island. Debris will be removed by hand, truck or watercraft as needed, and potentially hazardous items such as refrigerators, propane tanks, and boats that endanger visitors, staff, and wildlife will be remediated. Downed trees will be removed and roads, boardwalks, trails and platforms repaired to restore safe access for staff and visitors. Habitat will be restored to pre-storm condition, and refuges buildings, gates, fences, roads and trails will be repaired as needed. Rip-rap will be added to the dike at Wertheim NWR to stabilize the shoreline, and a boardwalk will be built at Lido Beach WMA to enhance wildlife observation and community educational opportunities for local students.

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Long Island Complex Resilience Project Map


Long Island Complex Recovery Project Map


Long Island Complex Damage Photos

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Last updated: June 30, 2014