Kyrillos Introduces Resolution Calling on Feds to Ensure Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area Open for Summer of 2013
Concerned about the potential impact on the Bayshore region’s economy of a prolonged closure of the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area, Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth) has introduced a resolution calling on the federal government to make reopening Sandy Hook a priority.
“Sandy Hook sustained enormous damage during Hurricane Sandy along with the homes and businesses of Bayshore residents,” Kyrillos said. “But there is more devastation in store if this economic engine for our region is not restored and reopened in time for the 2013 tourism season. The Sandy Hook Recreation Area is the source of millions of dollars of economic activity every year and an affordable summer getaway for tourists from near and far who will lose out on a treasured summer tradition if it is not reopened. We cannot afford to lose the economic activity generated by Sandy Hook as we seek to rebuild our shoreline.”
Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area is federally owned property that is maintained and operated by the National Park Service.
Text of the resolution is as follows:
A Concurrent Resolution urging the National Park Service to make the restoration and reopening of the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area by the summer of 2013 a national priority.
Whereas, The Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area is not only important to the more than two million people who visit it annually for recreation and enjoyment of the natural beauty, fishing, and wildlife in the area, but also to the numerous local businesses that rely on this influx of visitors for their survival and to the area municipalities that depend on those visitors to ensure their economic vitality; and
Whereas, In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy pummeled the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area from two sides – the Atlantic Ocean to its east and the Raritan Bay to its west; and
Whereas, The winds, rain, and more than 13-foot tidal surge left in their wake unprecedented damage, burying parking lots, picnic tables, and access roads in sand, flooding and destroying park and United States Coast Guard facilities and buildings, and generally laying waste to this important beach, wildlife, and recreation area vital to Monmouth County in New Jersey; and
Whereas, The enormity of the damage to the area is such that without concerted effort and prioritization of restoration of this national recreation area over the next four to five months, the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area will not reopen for its economically crucial summer season, and potentially tens to hundreds of millions of dollars will be lost to the local and State economies; and
Whereas, At this time when the State was just beginning to crawl out of the depressed economy of the past decade, the continued closure of the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area through the summer of 2013 would newly cripple and devastate the economy of Monmouth County and the surrounding parts of the State and New York State; and
Whereas, The economic vitality of the New Jersey-New York area is not only crucial to those two states but is also significant to the overall economic health and vibrancy of the nation; and
Whereas, The Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area is a national recreation area under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service in the United States Department of the Interior; and
Whereas, Because of this jurisdiction, the needed restoration and funding for the restoration must be spearheaded by the National Park Service; and
Whereas, It is crucial for the National Park Service to act with the utmost focus and speed to restore the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area to reopen as soon as possible but no later than the summer of 2013; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):
1. The National Park Service in the United States Department of the Interior is urged to make restoration and reopening of the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area by the summer of 2013 a national priority.
2. Duly authenticated copies of this concurrent resolution, signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly, and attested by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the General Assembly, shall be transmitted to the President and the Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of the Interior, the Director of the National Park Service, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of the Congressional delegation from the State.