High-Fives for a Sandy Summer

Recovery work continues at NY area's worst hit parks

On Friday, SCA and the National Park Service gathered on Sandy Hook, New Jersey, to celebrate the Sandy Recovery Program’s summer restoration efforts at Gateway National Recreation Area.

Over 100 SCA crew members caught a lift across New York Harbor aboard the American Princess, a ferry whose dock SCA members helped to restore after it was destroyed during Sandy. Once on Sandy Hook, members led tours of areas where they completed restoration work, including Officers Row, where they gave historic buildings a new paint job, and North Beach, where they cleared debris and rebuilt dunes. After sharing presentations on their summer accomplishments, crews gathered for a barbecue on the lawn to celebrate a successful summer of service.

Ever since the Sandy Recovery Program’s kick-off event in May, where Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell hefted the inaugural shovelfuls of sand, SCA crew members have been working tirelessly in the field to help Gateway National Recreation Area and other sites around New York Harbor recover from Superstorm Sandy. From clearing drifted sand around Jamaica Bayremoving dangerous debris on Staten Island, from remediating soil at Battery Park Urban Farm rebuilding bike trails and boardwalks on Sandy Hook, SCA volunteers have changed the face of New York Harbor.

Along the way, crew members have also been gaining new experiences and perspectives. From tent camping at Floyd Bennet Field to spotting dolphins and humpback whales in New York Harbor visiting the Statue of Liberty, crew members have had the opportunity to learn about the history and ecology of the city they call home.

Over the course of the summer, SCA members have also garnered a deluge of media attention from the likes of NY1Westchester MagazineWFUV Public RadioNJ.comSheepshead BitesNPS Digest, the Daily Plant, and the Staten Island Advance – not to mention the in-person high-fives and fist-bumps from New Yorkers returning to their favorite parks and beaches to find them restored to tip-top shape by blue-shirted, green-blooded SCA earthsavers