SANDY HOOK: $24 MILLION DOLLAR MAINTENANCE FACILITY
Monmouth County Audubon opposes any new facility construction that will remove old trees, native vegetation and valuable wildlife habitat on Sandy Hook. Despite the availability of dozens of unused buildings which could be re-purposed and re-adapted, the NPS is willing to destroy habitat and spend an approximate $24 million dollars to build another maintenance facility. This proposal represents an unconscionable waste of money, negates the long-standing NPS goal to renovate buildings within Fort Hancock and points to a complete lack of oversight and accountability.
Both of the proposed maintenance facility sites which flooded during Sandy have significant natural resources worthy of protection. It is an abrogation of responsibility by the NPS to consider removing significant amounts of native trees, including American Hollies that have survived for several hundred years. These large, densely–forested areas of coastal maritime/holly forest are considered a globally significant natural resource that provides critical habitat as a stopover site for migratory birds
Sandy Hook is unique among the units of Gateway, deserving better management, appreciation and protection of its natural resources. As the last remaining natural barrier peninsula in Monmouth County, the highest and best use for the park is the protection and preservation of undisturbed spaces – a place of natural beauty, quiet and a refuge from the stresses of living in the most densely populated state in the country.
Linda J. Mack, Trustee
Monmouth County Audubon Society