Building a Stronger Coast
As Hurricane Season Begins, Readying for the Next Big Storm

Satellite View of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29

June 1, 2016 -  Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and weather forecasters are predicting an active season for hurricanes and tropical storms.

While people living along the Atlantic Coast are asking themselves, “Are we ready?” (check out these preparedness tips from NOAA) we in the conservation community are asking, “Are our coasts ready?”

It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves with increasing urgency since Hurricane Sandy struck the Atlantic Coast in 2012.

In the aftermath of Sandy, federal, state and local groups stepped forward in an unprecedented effort to strengthen natural defenses along the Atlantic Coast, protecting communities and wildlife from future storms. At the heart of this effort is one key concept: resilience.

Read more in the Huffington Post

Satellite View of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29.
Credit: NASA GOES Project

Students in the Field: Lending Hands to Living Shorelines

Students helping to build an oyster reef.

May 26, 2016 - The next generation of conservationists are getting a head-start in environmental stewardship thanks to Project PORTS, a unique program that educates young students about the benefits of oyster restoration. In April, a group of students from East Windsor, CT, visited Cape May, NJ, to participate in the project.

The students took part in educational sessions, then headed out to Gandy's Beach where USFWS and partners are installing an oyster reef. The students got first-hand experience helping to build the oyster reef, which is designed to help protect the shoreline by reducing erosion and wave energy.

“[The project] will help stabilize approximately 3,000 feet of beach and tidal marsh shoreline,” said Katie Conrad, USFWS biologist.

Read more

Students helping to build an oyster reef.
Credit: USFWS

Building Oyster Reefs to Protect Coastlines at Chincoteague

Helping hands assemble castles to create oyster reefs at Chincoteague NWR. Chelsi Burns/USFWS

May 10, 2016 - Volunteers and partners are helping build new oyster reefs at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to help protect the refuge from the impacts of climate change and future storms. The reefs are built from LEGO-like cement blocks assembled into castle structures that oyster spat (babies) cling to, creating a functional oyster reef that helps buffer wave energy. When finished, there will be an estimated 1,400 feet of living shoreline oyster reefs at Tom’s Cove and 2,050 feet in Assateague Bay – two sites that were battered by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. This work is part of larger efforts along the Atlantic Coast to make coastlines more resilient to the impacts of climate change and storms.

Read the press release
Read the blog
Watch a news clip

Helping hands assemble castles to create oyster reefs at Chincoteague NWR.
Credit: Chelsi Burns/USFWS

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Last updated: June 28, 2016