Rebuilding After Hurricane Sandy
National wildlife refuges in New Jersey, New York, Virginia and throughout New England will receive funding for restoration and research projects to better protect Atlantic Coast communities from future powerful storms like Hurricane Sandy. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced $162 million will be invested in 45 projects to restore marshes, wetlands and beaches, rebuild shorelines and research mitigation of storm surge impacts.
With more than 47,000 acres of wetlands, Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, NJ, absorbed much of Sandy’s energy and storm surge, protecting some of the local communities in the path of the storm. Hurricane Sandy destroyed refuge roadways and dumped boats, fuel oil tanks, chemical drums and other debris across 22 miles of refuge lands. The natural buffer provided by the refuge’s marshes, beaches, and forests protected the refuge’s visitor center, headquarters and surrounding local communities from severe flood damage. Refuges in New Jersey, including Forsythe Refuge, will receive $15 million to restore and enhance salt marshes as critical green infrastructure protecting communities.
There are also marsh restoration projects planned at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, MA, Prime Hook Refuge, DE, and Seatuck, Wertheim, and Lido Beach Refuges on Long Island, NY.
Secretary Jewell also announced a $100 million dollar Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program. States, local communities, nonprofit organizations and other partners can compete for funding of innovative projects. The grants are administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.