This afternoon, Dan Ashe, the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will travel to Rhode Island to meet with U.S. Senator Jack Reed and tour storm damage at Sachuest Point.
Superstorm Sandy battered Sachuest Point Road, creating unsafe and hazardous conditions and cutting off vehicle access to the popular Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge.
Reed, the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior & Environment, which oversees the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual $1.5 billion budget, is seeking federal assistance to repair the access road.
This week, the Appropriations Committee unveiled a $60.4 billion emergency Disaster Supplemental bill to help pay for damage resulting from Sandy. The supplemental includes $78 million to meet immediate reconstruction and recovery needs for national wildlife refuges on the Eastern Seaboard, as well as $150 million for the U.S. Department of Interior to undertake restoration, recovery, and mitigation priorities to protect against future storms and natural disasters.
In addition to the road damage, erosion during the storm created perilous drops from sections of trail and unsafe conditions for refuge visitors. FWS officials are working to repair the trail system, including re-routing some of the trails to allow for greater access to the rest of the refuge.
Patch will join Ashe and Reed on the tour of the wildlife refuge. Check back later today for footage and statements.