Rebuilding After Sandy
On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy made landfall in the Northeast, killing over 285 people in seven countries and causing an estimated $53 billion in damages. The national parks of New York Harbor, like Gateway National Recreation Area, the Statue of Liberty National Monument, and Governors Island were not spared the storm’s wrath. NPCA’s Northeast office, in partnership with the Government Affairs team, immediately sprang into action, organizing and activating a national campaign to rally Congressional support for legislation that provides hundreds of millions in critical rebuilding and resiliency funds for national parks in the Northeast. In January 2013, NPCA cheered as this critical legislation passed in Congress. With funding secured, the Northeast Office is serving as a regional leader and advisor to the National Park Service, the Army Corps of Engineers and regional stakeholders to direct disaster funds to national park projects that will repair our parks as well as provide other benefits, such as ecological restoration, historic preservation and flood risk reduction. Thus far, $329.8 million has been allocated by the Department of Interior for 158 national park sites damaged by Sandy and $500,000 by the Army Corps of Engineers for ecological restoration work at Gateway’s Jamaica Bay Unit. NPCA’s Northeast Office pledges to keep our allies and supporters engaged as this important campaign progresses.
Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy
In Summer 2012, a partnership between the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service, and the City of New York was announced to cooperatively manage the parks in and around Jamaica Bay to ensure that these parks lands are protected and accessible to all New Yorkers. NPCA has long advocated for a public-private partnership model at Gateway and we look forward to this new park conservancy advancing the public’s vision for Jamaica Bay, including the establishment of the Jamaica Bay Science and Resilience Center, the nation’s largest campground, and the restoration of the park’s wetlands.
Greater and Greener International Urban Parks Conference
Thanks to significant funding from the Tiffany & Co. Foundation, NPCA was able to partner with City Parks Alliance to host an international urban parks conference. The goal was to engage urban national park partners, increase awareness of the benefits parks bring to urban communities and explore ideas for how urban parks can be better designed, programmed and more sustainable for the future. The conference drew over 900 participants from 20 countries and featured keynote addresses by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
Floyd Bennett Field Blue Ribbon Panel
In April, 2010, Senator Charles Schumer and Rep. Anthony Weiner convened the Floyd Bennett Field Blue Ribbon Panel. The goal of this task force was to make recommendations to the National Park Service about improvements to Gateway National Recreation Area in the Port of New York and New Jersey. The Blue Ribbon Panel was the result of a multi-year partnership between NPCA and the Regional Plan Association to help inform the Park Service, elected officials, and the public as NPS begins its revision to the park’s General Management Plan, the guiding document for the park’s future.
Maine Woods Zogby Poll
In fall, 2010 NPCA released a poll showing Maine voters’ strong support for preserving land within Maine’s North Woods. The poll, conducted by Zogby International, found that 90 percent of Maine voters support a collaborative public private partnership to preserve an area within Maine’s North Woods as a mix of protected and working lands. These woods hold roughly 10 million acres of trees, making it the largest remaining undeveloped forest east of the Rocky Mountains. NPCA strongly believes that we must act now to protect the Maine Woods before the areas are divided and this national treasure is lost forever.
NPCA and the NERO office have been active partners with local community groups and politicians on several causes. We rallied our members to protect the New Jersey Palisades from LG Electronics’ proposed towering office complex, which would deter from the natural and historical landscape of the iconic Palisades. In 2010 NPCA worked against the development of off-shore wind-turbines at Cape Cod after finding they would alter the viewshed and character of Cape Cod National Seashore.