Statement by Theresa Pierno, Acting President for the National Parks Conservation Association
“It has been one year since Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast, devastating families, local communities and businesses, causing damage to more than 70 national parks like the Statue of Liberty, Gateway National Recreation Area and Ellis Island, which just reopened its doors this week. Strong leadership from the National Park Service and bipartisan support from Congress provided critical funding and brought much needed relief to communities and national parks, advancing projects that had been envisioned for years, and that otherwise would not move forward. Support from federal, state, and local partners and cross-agency collaboration for the rebuilding strategy has provided unprecedented support to the region and its national parks.
“Sandy recovery facilitated opportunities for Gateway National Recreation Area. The storm’s impacts highlighted several key issues and spurred attention to rebuild stronger, smarter and sustainable parklands. The Department of Interior has allocated more than $475 million to rebuild national parks and refuges and is calling for requests for proposals for $100 million worth in grants to agencies, academics, nonprofits and individuals for post-Sandy public lands work. A new resilience center at Jamaica Bay in Gateway will provide innovative research on climate change that will benefit communities and national parks in urban regions throughout the nation.
“Much has been done, but more is needed. With thoughtful investments and continued support from federal, state and local partners at Gateway and to our New York-New Jersey Harbor parks, we will continue to stimulate the local economy, and provide incredible opportunities to millions of national park goers.”
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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