This blog is dedicated to the environmental well-being of our Florida coastal habitat.

This blog is
dedicated to the environmental well-being of coastal habitat.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

American Littoral Society Year End Appeal

American Littoral Society Year End Appeal 
Volunteers moving oyster spat on shell
Volunteers restore oyster reefs in Delaware Bay

I wish I could open with my usual "Greetings from Sandy Hook" but Hurricane Sandy has displaced us from our office for the next several months. Sandy also severely damaged our Jamaica Bay office. Even so, we have been at the forefront of the public conversation about how, what, and where we should rebuild after Sandy. This includes working to ensure that protection and restoration of coastal wildlife and habitat and the public's right to access the coast are recovery priorities.

We were asked by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to conduct a "rapid assessment of impacts" to coastal habitats from Delaware Bay to Long Island Sound. We interviewed over 100 environmental professionals, refuge managers and others to get a sense of the damage. We rounded out the picture by working with Rutgers University to use remote sensing technology to assess the changes in beaches, dunes and salt marshes to better understand the implications for our coastal wildlife.

Once completed, we brought our findings to Congress, the administration, and state governments and advocated for funding to restore habitat, repair parks and refuges and bring more resiliency to our communities as they rebuild. And we got results! The President's emergency funding request to Congress included millions for environmental protection efforts. Now, we are working to educate Congress about the importance of that funding, urging them to make it available to help coastal wildlife and communities as soon as possible.

In spite of the storm, 2012 has been rewarding, challenging, and exceptional in so many ways. In New York, New Jersey, and Florida we have engaged thousands of people in  

* Removing thousands of pounds of debris from coastal areas
* Restoring thousands of oysters to Delaware and Barnegat Bay
* Replacing invasive plants with native species in Sarasota Bay's coastal habitats 
* Becoming better coastal stewards through NJ SpillSpotters and NYC Youth Conservation Corps
* Fighting off bad development projects and attacks on important environmental protections
* After school programs, camps, field trips, kayak trips, eco-cruises and fishing clinics
* Tagging thousands of fish to gather much needed conservation data
* Preserving hundreds of acres of prime habitat along the Delaware Bayshore

For all of these reasons, I'm asking you to help us to stay the course, recover from Hurricane Sandy, and make 2013 a year to remember by giving as generously as you are able to this year-end appeal. The Society's trustees, staff, and I congratulate you on our sharede successes and urge you to continue in our fight to protect and preserve the beauty and bounty of our coast for our generation and those to come. 

Tim Dillingham
Tim Dillingham
Executive Director