Sandy’s Aftermath: Wildlife Refuges, Arts, Museums

Just after Superstorm Sandy, Green New Update shared initial reports on the destruction to New York’s parks, botanic gardens and museums that were in the path of the storm and flooding.

Updates now confirm damage to wildlife refuges, sea turtle nesting spots, and coastal erosion from Maine to North Carolina.

Wildlife refuges and beaches damaged
Damage to coastal wildlife refuges is being evaluated, with the inevitable question, how will restoration be paid for in light of proposed budget cuts to the National Park Service? Nearly half of the 72 wildlife refuges in Sandy’s path were damaged. (Read the Washington Post story)

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (Del.), a haven for migrating waterfowl and beloved place for birders, suffered a 1500-foot breach that sent saltwater from Delaware Bay into a freshwater pond that is key to waterfowl.

Virginia’s Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (a fragile barrier island) is closed — the storm destroyed beaches and parking. At the other end of the barrier island, Assateague Island (MD) also sustained damage and loss of beach. A team from the National Aquarium (Baltimore) swooped in just before the storm hit for a planned evacuation of an entire loggerhead sea turtle nest.

“Every turtle counts” is the motto of Jean Beasley, director of the Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center for North Carolina’s Outer Banks. While this year was a baby boom year for loggerhead turtle nests in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, at least 50 nests were lost at Juno Beach FL for late-hatching loggerheads, a federally listed endangered species. (Read news report on how Sandy affected coastal turtle nests.)

Damage to museums and galleries -NY/NJ

Several hundred original Isamu Noguchi sculptures works at the Noguchi Museum (Long Island City), stored in in a basement area, and sets by the artist/sculptor owned by the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance are among the legacy items damaged by flooding during Sandy’s juggernaut through New York and New Jersey.

A spokesperson for the Graham Company said pieces under six feet of water in a Manhattan basement included the set for the production Clytemnestra, which Noguchi built himself.(Read the arts blog) reports that hundreds of sculptures in metal, wood, stone and plaster at the Noguchi Museum were damaged by flooding. There was also some damage to the museum’s archives, tree loss and shoreline damage. (The museum was scheduled to reopen Nov. 17.)

Art galleries in Chelsea  are assessing damage and making efforts to reopen, according to New York Times blog update. Some cleanup funds have been offered by the huge international art fair Art Basel but not enough to offset losses and extensive conservation work needed. (Read the blog.)

community healing event, free

Tuckertown Seaport Gathering Nov. 24

Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum in Tuckerton NJ, a 40-acre coastal complex, suffered significant storm damage to its site, lighthouse and exhibits, but is soldiering on with a Christmas Market, classes and other activities, while damage is being repaired during the winter. On Tuckerton’s web site, executive director Paul Hart is succinct in his assessment: “Was it bad?  Yes. Will it break us?  Never.” Check out their web site.

One response to “Sandy’s Aftermath: Wildlife Refuges, Arts, Museums

  1. Thanks for mentioning our turtle rescue efforts! We are very glad to report that the hatchling we rescued is well on his way to recovery.

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