Community Foundation of New Jersey

Rebuilding the Coastline, But at What Cost?

May 22, 2013

The New York Times this week takes a close look at the costs of rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, particularly in areas that continue to present serious risks.  As one environmental expert explains, the marshes upon which many of the destroyed homes now sit continue to shrink – making rebuilding on them potentially (or particularly) unwise.

We at the Community Foundation were especially pleased to read about the effort we supported to restore parts of the bayshore for critical habitat.

From the New York Times:

And at least one effort to restore wildlife habitats had the dual benefit of restoring the beach. In Delaware Bay, the Littoral Society worked with other conservation groups for months to restore and prepare 1.25 miles of shoreline in time for horseshoe crab spawning season. The storm destroyed nearly 70 percent of the New Jersey horseshoe crab habitat.

The crabs are part of a complex food chain. Their eggs provide fuel to thousands of red knot shorebirds — an endangered species in New Jersey — as they migrate from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic Circle. Through public and private grants, $1.4 million was spent to remove debris and lay down 32,000 cubic yards of sand. Last week, the crabs were spawning and the birds were feasting […]

Several of our Trustees visited the bayshore earlier this month to see firsthand how the grant dollars are helping restore this habitat, even getting a chance to hold and examine several species.

For the full New York Times article, click here.