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New York

Hurricane Sandy: One Year Later

Coastal Restoration and Hurricane Sandy

See how the South Cape May Meadows helped protect homeowners from Hurricane Sandy.

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Dear Loyal Supporters,

When Hurricane Sandy struck last year, it changed New York forever. Sandy left a wake of destruction, establishing a “new normal.” Sandy revealed just how vulnerable we are to climate change, as well as how nature—wetlands, parks, forests, dunes, reefs—plays a critical role in protecting us. Since the storm, many New Yorkers now rank climate change as their number one environmental concern.

With this in mind, the Conservancy is applying powerful lessons we learned from places like South Cape May, New Jersey, where restored dunes and wetlands helped protect the community from waves and flooding during the storm. This and other examples will help guide future projects in New York, and continue influencing policy. We are using our science-based approach to conduct research in vulnerable areas of New York City to show how investments in nature, often combined with built infrastructure, can provide significant benefits.

In New York, your support enables the Conservancy to provide science, on-the-ground knowledge and conservation tools to help with recovery and show how the right investments in nature can reduce the impacts of future storms. For example, we are:

  • Bringing our scientific expertise and hands on experience to the table to engage with policy makers to ensure that natural defenses are as much a part of the conversation as built infrastructure;
  • Using our Coastal Resilience tool to help New York City and communities on Long Island and in Connecticut map the impacts of sea level rise and incorporate it into their long-term planning;
  • Working in all five boroughs and throughout Long Island to study our wetlands and explore ways to keep them healthy and resilient to storm surge and sea level rise;
  • Protecting low-lying and coastal lands on Long Island, as functional, resilient coastlines can protect upland areas from erosion and flooding;
  • Working with partners to keep New York City’s trees healthy. Urban forests help reduce flooding by slowing water as it runs down to lower points and into over-burdened sewer systems. 

You can help us continue our work to create natural infrastructure in New York, when you make an online gift.

Right now, we have a unique opportunity to talk about disaster readiness—and we have the analyses to prove that nature should be a part of the discussion. It’s this insight that will guide us to a more resilient New York.



Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director

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