The view from above – an aerial tour of Hurricane Sandy recovery and resiliency sites: Day 5

I’m Rick Bennett, Regional Scientist for the Northeast Region. This week, I am part of a team taking to the air to tour some of the locations that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Each evening, I will be sharing a little about what we saw, the projects on the ground and how we are working to ensure the coastline and the surrounding communities are #StrongAfterSandy. (Keith Shannon/USFWS)

I’m Rick Bennett, Regional Scientist for the Northeast Region. This week, I was part of a team that toured sites that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Each evening, I shared a little about what we saw, the projects on the ground and how we are working to ensure the coastline and the surrounding communities are #StrongAfterSandy. (Keith Shannon/USFWS)

The last day of our trip surveying Hurricane Sandy recovery and resiliency sites focused on the more than 112,000-acre Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The projects at the refuge will install, repair, or replace water control structures on some of the many ditches that have been dug throughout the refuge – some dating back to the days of George Washington. Increased control over water levels at the refuge will not only create a habitat more resilient to large storms, wildfires, and drought, but it will also help protect the city of Chesapeake and the Deep Creek community against flood events.

It was an awe-inspiring week, being able to see the scope and vastness of the projects that will help create a more resilient coast – benefitting so many communities along the way. It was also great to meet with staff and partners at the refuges and other project sites and see how dedicated they are to both the natural resources and the wellbeing of the residents that live in the surrounding cities and towns. And thanks to pilot Dale Fowler for giving us such a smooth ride!

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