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Director's Corner

Dan Ashe served as FWS Director from June 2011 until January 2017. The following is an archive of blogs authored by Director Ashe during that time. This content is intended for historical reference only and not as a representation of current Service policy or opinion.

Flying Over Irene's Aftermath

Tuesday was eventful.

This morning, in the office and meeting with Arizona Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles. Then on a late morning flight down to Norfolk, VA, where I made a connection with Region 4's helicopter and pilot Glenn Cullingsford. Glenn took me down to Manteo, NC, where we were joined by Refuge Manager Mike Bryant.

We overflew Pea Island NWR to see the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

I hesitate to say, see the "damage" caused by the storm, because the refuge wasn't "damaged." The human infrastructure was damaged, but the refuge is a barrier island and the hurricane is part of the natural process of ecological change and renewal.

The storm created a new inlet through the middle of the refuge, which you can see in the photo below:

Interestingly, it's a place called "New Inlet" because decades ago it was a major inlet from the Pamlico Sound.Normally, a Director wouldn't need to be concerned about such things, but the fact that NC Highway 12 runs down the spine of this refuge, and is now bisected in several places, makes it an issue of quite a lot of attention.

Thanks to Glenn and Mike for helping me understand the situation and having the chance to see it first hand. 

Talk to you soon,

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