EarthShare has member charities located up and down the East Coast where Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, hit on October 29, 2012. A number of those charities have seen damage to their facilities and in some cases have lost their headquarters entirely
Here’s an update on the status of some of our affected member groups and what you can do to support them and clean up and restoration efforts in the area. We’ll keep you posted as more opportunities to get involved become available:
The headquarters of EarthShare New Jersey members Save Barnegat Bay, Clean Ocean Action, American Littoral Society, and Clean Water Fund NJ were all evacuated due to the storm. Clean Ocean Action has announced volunteer opportunities for beach cleanups on their website.
The Wildlife Conservation Society suffered terrible damage to one of its flagship properties, the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. The storm surge completely flooded the facility, although fortunately the vast majority of the animals in the collection survived, including all the marine mammals. To learn more about damage to the aquarium, click here.
Save the Bay’s Newport Aquarium in Rhode Island also saw severe damage in the storm and remains closed as of this publish date. All the animals survived the storm and have been moved to other facilities. Update here.
As well as being champions for our beaches and oceans, Surfrider NYC and other members of the surf community have been at ground zero for Sandy Relief. They've gone door to door distributing supplies to people affected by the storm, have dropped off supplies at distribution centers, and helped clean up parks. In Manhattan the group organized a center for water distribution; in Long Island, they brought two 15-passenger vans of volunteers to Long Beach to help the community clean up.
New York Riverkeeper is offering Critical Cleanup Tips for Homeowners, Renters and Businesses dealing with flooding from Sandy.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has established the Hurricane Sandy Wildlife Response Fund to conduct rapid assessments of the ecological impacts of Hurricane Sandy and assist with urgent remedial needs. Impacted species, including shorebirds and waterbirds, will be a key focus. In addition, the Fund will provide immediate assistance to support remedial actions for migratory birds and other important fish and wildlife species during this important fall migration season.
The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, NJ suffered major losses to the dock and boardwalk facilities which are critical for their educational and community programs. Additionally, the salt water pumping facility that supports the aquarium operations was damaged. The Natural Resource Education Foundation of New Jersey also lost their dock and took water into some of the cabins and boathouse.
The New York Botanical Garden had damage to their property during the storm, including at least 100 trees down in their native forest. Some of the trees were well over 100 years old.
Parks & Trails New York reports that many parks in New York City, the Hudson Valley and Long Island, including state parks, were hit hard by the storm; it may cost hundreds of millions of dollars to rehabilitate. Severe flooding and downed trees have ensured that many parks will remain closed indefinitely. To learn more and find out how you can volunteer to help, visit Parks & Trails New York Sandy page. New Yorkers for Parks is also providing updates on their Facebook page about volunteer opportunities.The New York Restoration Project and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference are also working on post-Sandy cleanup in New York and New Jersey parks.
The Ocean Conservancy shared their thoughts about the hurricane and the impact of extreme weather in two posts: What Can We Learn From Sandy? and In the Wake of Sandy, which talks about the important work marine groups are doing to ensure that coastlines around the country are resilient in the face of super storms like Sandy. Healthy wetlands and oyster beds are integral to protecting our coastlines from storm surges and rising seas.
Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford, NJ is dealing with an influx of shorebirds that have been displaced as a result of the high winds and size of the storm. Their wildlife hospital even took in a red-billed tropic bird, which one would usually find in the Antilles Islands.
Surfrider Foundation released this statement pertaining to the storm, and you can keep tabs on what their chapters in Southern Jersey, the Jersey shore and New York are doing to clean up and rebuild in the wake of the hurricane.
How You Can Help:
In addition to committing some of your time to volunteer cleanup projects, you can support the work of these and dozens of other environmental groups in the region with a donation. Please consider making a workplace giving donation or a contribution through EarthShare New York, EarthShare New England, and/or EarthShare New Jersey.