Building a Stronger Coast
Secretary Jewell Tours Hughesville Dam Removal in New Jersey

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell

September 8, 2016 - U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today joined Interior, state and local officials and partners at the Hughesville Dam removal on the Musconetcong River.

The removal of the Hughesville Dam is part of a larger collaborative effort to restore the 42-mile Musconetcong – a designated “Wild and Scenic River” – to a free-flowing state. Hughesville is the fifth dam to be removed, helping to open up fish passage while improving safety and flooding risks for the local community.

The project is one of a dozen dam removals in the Northeast supported by federal funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery to help strengthen natural defenses along the Atlantic Coast and protect communities and wildlife against future storms predicted with a changing climate.

Read the press release
Learn more about the project

Secretary Jewell speaks at a press conference at the Hughesville Dam removal project.

White House recognizes U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientist as 'Climate Change Champion'

Dr. Richard Bennett. Credit: USFWS

September 8, 2016 - Dr. Richard Bennett, regional scientist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northeast Region based in Hadley, Mass., has been named 2016 GreenGov Presidential Awards Climate Champion for his leadership in Hurricane Sandy recovery. Following the devastation left by the storm in 2012, Bennett led the Department of the Interior response team, overseeing $167 million in FWS project funding to help revitalize the Northeast and to protect it from future storms and sea-level rise. Bennett worked to launch more than 100 sustainability-focused projects, and led a team that developed performance metrics for climate resilience that are changing the way the federal government prepares for severe weather events.

News release

Dr. Richard Bennett.
Credit: USFWS

In the News: Re-Watering the Swamp

Lateral West Wildfire

September 5, 2016 - A front-page article in the Suffolk News Herald highlights a $3 million USFWS project to improve water management at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), where both floods and wildfires have been a problem.

The project to install, repair or replace 12 water control structures will help refuge managers better regulate water levels for fire, flood and wildlife habitat. As the article points out, the project carries local, regional and global benefits – nearby communities will experience less flooding, region-wide there will be less air pollution from wildfires, and at a global scale this project helps reduce carbon emissions.

“By re-wetting the swamp, we become a sink, rather than a source of carbon,” said refuge manager Chris Lowie.

Read the story in the Suffolk News Herald
Learn more about the project
Watch a video from Great Dismal Swamp

Lateral West Wildfire.
Credit: Mike Petruncio/North Carolina Forest Service

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Last updated: October 19, 2016