All over the country, people heard about the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. But few have had the chance to see it in person. SCA’s Sandy Relief Crews, stationed in badly damaged areas such as Jamaica Bay and Sandy Hook, have been working hard these past two weeks to provide relief for these places.
Hi everyone! My name is Molly Lewen, and I’m on the Sandy Hook Relief Crew. This last week, we worked mainly on the Bay side of Sandy Hook. For those of you who don’t know, Sandy Hook is a peninsula in New Jersey, with one side touching the Sandy Hook Bay and the other side touching the Atlantic Ocean. The Bay side was hit harder than the ocean side, since the residential part of the coast faces the Bay.
The majority of our day consists of picking up the beaches; we find anything from litter, such as bottles or Styrofoam, to large debris, such as heavy wooden logs and metal pipes. Marine debris is a huge problem for wildlife, since birds and fish could mistake something like a candy wrapper for food, then have problems digesting it and die. Usually, we do beach cleanup in the morning hours when it’s not as hot out.
Last Monday morning, however, we began clearing a bike trail. There was a lot of sand blown in from the storm and we spent the morning shoveling sand from the path and transporting it back to the dunes. After a few water breaks and some light-hearted chatter, we got back to work on the trail. We were working during a heat wave, but that wasn’t going to stop our crew.
After lunch, we headed down to a beach on the Bay side to pick up marine debris. Up and down the beach the crews walked, picking up litter. Every few minutes, a few of the stronger people in the group would walk down the beach carrying large logs or stones. After the work of the Sandy crews, the beach looked exponentially better.
Despite the daunting amount of work we have ahead of ourselves, we’re ready for the challenge!