Congress Asked To Approve Supplemental Appropriation Of $400 Million For National Parks To Recover From Sandy
Congress has been asked to provide nearly $400 million to help National Park System units recover from damages inflicted by "superstorm" Sandy earlier this fall.
Under the proposal working its way through the Senate, $348 million was requested by the Interior Department to cover "immediate reconstruction and recovery needs" for parks ranging from Gateway National Recreation Area and Ellis Island National Monument to Morristown National Historical Park.
Additionally, $50 million was requested for the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund to pay for restoration and rehabilitation of historic properties damaged by the storm.
Beyond that amount, the Interior Department has requested another $150 million "for restoration, recovery, and mitigation priorities to protect against future storms and natural disasters."
National Park Service personnel in the agency's Washington headquarters were working Tuesday to produce a list of storm-related repairs.
National Parks Conservation Association officials, meanwhile, noted that substantial damage was incurred at the Statue of Liberty, "where mechanical systems were flooded and destroyed. Sandy Hook in Gateway ... was inundated, and Fire Island (National Seashore) ... experienced severe erosion all along its length and two overwashes. Ellis Island, Governor's Island, Castle Clinton, Paterson Falls, and other sites in the region experienced flooding, significant damage to mechanical systems, the destruction of employee facilities, and nearly irreparable landscape damage."