Jan 25, 2013

House GOP Strips Storm Aid for Stewart B. McKinney NWR

Storm damage at Stewart B. McKinney NWRWTNH in Connecticut reports that Republican Louisiana Rep. John Fleming introduced an amendment that stripped $9.8 million in Hurricane Sandy aid for Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Connecticut.

Stewart B. McKinney NWR runs for 70 miles along the Connecticut coast and its eight islands and four land units received a great deal of damage from Hurricane Sandy. But Rep. Fleming decided that since only the wildlife and hundreds of visitors to the refuge would see the damage, it wasn’t worth fixing.

“It was severe. We had very severe damage,” said Refuge Manager Rick Potvin.

News 8 saw for ourselves the damage on one of the islands off the coast of Greenwich.

“If you look up the beach you can see how it was actually pushed up and over that area,” said Potvin…

“It is amazing to me, amazing to me that we find it necessary that in the northeast somehow we are being held hostage when the rest of the nation has received every dime they’ve asked for,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT). “It’s wrong and we should defeat this amendment.”

But the amendment passed and now the refuge is struggling to find a way to repair the damage.

“When you say well is it worth this or is it worth that it’s hard to say, well what price do we put on wildlife,” questioned Potvin, “what price do we put on having open areas for people to come and visit safely?”

Visit the WTNH News 8 website to see a video of the damage.

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