By: Keith Cialino, New England Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program
Today marks the third anniversary of Sandy’s landfall in the mid-Atlantic. Hurricane Sandy resulted in severe damage to many communities, leaving a swath of destruction and large amounts of debris in coastal waters and marshes.
The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 provided NOAA with supplemental funding to support the removal of debris generated by Sandy that was not removed immediately after the storm. NOAA developed formal agreements with the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, as well as New York City, for debris removals. In addition, we provided support to the state of Delaware for the detection of storm-related debris in coastal areas. Many of the debris removal projects are ongoing, and to date have resulted in the removal of approximately 375 metric tons of debris from sensitive coastal habitats, including marshes, wetlands and tidal creeks. As with many events of this magnitude, the impacts of the storm continue to be felt and cleanup efforts are ongoing three years later. However, with the united efforts of many people and organizations, a great deal of progress has been made toward recovery.