On Saturday, October 26th, SCA kicked off the ConSERVE NYC initiative with a coastal restoration project to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
Bundled up in the brisk autumn weather, over 80 volunteers gathered for the project at Great Kills Park on Staten Island, a unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. Some groups tackled storm debris, collecting trash and uprooting tires, barrels, and driftwood. Others focused on erecting erosion fencing to protect the dunes and the native vegetation on Crooke’s Point.
By the end of the morning, when volunteers gathered back at the Beach Center for lunch, over 800 feet of dune fencing had been completed, and over 1700 pounds of debris had been removed from two miles of beachfront.
Participants included SCA members, alumni, staff, family, and friends, as well as student groups from St. Johns University, Global Kids, the Green Schools Alliance, Curtis High School, Bryant High School, Moore Catholic High School, the New York Harbor School, and Teens 4 Oceans. Employees from American Eagle Outfitters and Nestle Waters also joined in, with one Nestle employee coming straight from his night shift to volunteer.
For many volunteers, the event shed new light on the need for continuing storm recovery efforts in New York Harbor. “I think it was eye-opening for all of us to discover just how much debris from the storm is still getting washed up,” said Justine Ouono, a youth leader with Global Kids who brought her students out for the event. “Attention is still needed for our communities post-Sandy. We are looking forward to future opportunities to help out with SCA!”
Students who participated in the project agreed. “I will definitely be there to help at the next event,” promised Aurelia Casey, who served on one of SCA’s Sandy Recovery crews at Gateway National Recreation Area this summer. “I’m going to try to make it out to every single event you have!”
“The day was incredible!” said Amosh Neupane, a student from Bryant High School who has applied for an SCA crew next summer. “I hope the next event is as wonderful as this one. I already have my calendar marked!”
— Ann Pedtke, SCA Marketing Outreach Coordinator
As part of the ConSERVE NYC initiative, SCA will host public service events each month to engage the New York City community and build resiliency in public lands around New York Harbor. Registration is now open for the next event at Riverside Park in Manhattan on Saturday, November 9th.