Encourage Sustainable Solutions for Post-Sandy Rebuilding

Target: New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo

Goal: Support environmentally-friendly, long-term solutions in rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.

Due to the increase in extreme weather over the past few years, many of the coastal marshes that have acted as the buffer between ocean and land have been destroyed, negatively impacting the region’s natural ability to resist rising sea levels and devastating local animal habitats. When extreme weather such as Hurricane Sandy causes sea levels to rise, people are no longer prepared for the flooding because land forms no longer exist to provide protection. Call upon Governor Cuomo to ensure that both residents and animal habitats of these now high-risk areas are protected from progressively rising sea levels through sustainable rebuilding practices in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

While Hurricane Sandy has helped raise the profile of Global Warming on the east coast, there is a concern that hard structures like jetties and sea walls will be built to protect the land from extreme weather in the future.  However effective this may be, these structures are especially damaging to coastal birds and their natural habitats.  Beach development, especially on Long Island, has already threatened many beach-nesting birds, putting birds such as the Piping Plover and the Least Tern on the Endangered Species list.  In order to ensure these animals’ continued existence, Governor Cuomo and leaders across the coast in affected areas need to push for restoring the coastal marshlands and other natural structures.  Not only is this a more environmentally sound solution to building hard structures, but it has long-term cost-effective benefits as well.

Oakwood Beach in Staten Island is one example of the neglect that has taken place over the last few decades.  Oakwood Beach used to have a berm, a mound of rock and sand, that ran along the beach and a wooden seawall at the water’s edge, which used to protect the beach until a Nor’easter in 1992 caused great damage to both.  Over the years short term solutions have been attempted in rebuilding, but no real funding or research has been put into the efforts. Clearly the effects are being seen as the weather becomes increasingly unpredictable.  The government needs to put time, effort, money, and environmental consideration into rebuilding these areas.

Sign this petition and urge Governor Cuomo to consider both the needs of the residents of these areas as well as the animal habitats that are being destroyed.


Dear Governor Cuomo,

In the chaos left by Hurricane Sandy, I know that rebuilding devastated areas is a top priority for you.  However, concerns for long-term and environmental effects must be considered during this process. In the past, this has not often been the case when responding to environmental disasters.  Hopefully Hurricane Sandy has brought awareness to Global Warming and the serious potential for the recurrence of similar storms, leading the government to put more effort into rebuilding efforts.

While a long-term solution is especially necessary for the safety of the residents in these areas, the safety of animal habitats is a concern as well.  Harder structures such as jetties and sea walls threaten these animals’ natural habitats, which have been destroyed over time by both harsh weather as well as real estate development.   I urge you to consider rebuilding these natural habitats, including the coastal marshlands, as you would be restoring the barrier that once protected the residents of these areas and the habitat of many affected bird species.  Please consider taking action as soon as possible to ensure that no further damage is done.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: nyaltnews.com

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