Secretary Salazar to Tour Hurricane Sandy Damage


Will Keynote Forum on Rebuilding Safer, Stronger, More Resilient Communities


12/12/2012


Contact: Blake Androff (202) 208-6416


New York, NY. – On Thursday, December 13, 2012, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will tour Interior assets damaged by Hurricane Sandy in the New York City region, including Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty. Later in the day, Salazar will deliver closing remarks at a forum on building more resilient communities. Credentialed news media are invited to attend and cover both events.

As Hurricane Sandy left a wake of destruction across the Mid-Atlantic States and New England, the Interior Department mobilized resources to speed storm recovery on federal and tribal lands in the impacted region and to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in its efforts to assist states and local governments in the disaster area. At the peak, over 1,500 Interior employees from 47 states supported response and recovery missions for Hurricane Sandy. Currently, 195 Interior employees remain deployed to assist with these efforts.

“One of the great strengths of America is the willingness of our people to join together in response to a crisis, and this certainly has been the case with Hurricane Sandy,” said Salazar. “Americans from coast to coast have given their time, their money, and their resources to assist those in the path of this terrible storm.”

Nearly 70 national parks and dozens of wildlife refuges sustained damage from the storm. Among those hardest hit were the 15 parks located in the metropolitan New York area, where visitors to sites like Gateway, Fire Island, and the Statue of Liberty contributed more than half a billion dollars to the local economy last year and supported nearly 4,400 jobs.

“We are committed to restoring these national treasures and making them open to the public as soon as it’s safe to welcome back visitors,” said Salazar. “I know that we will recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and that we will move forward to fulfill a new vision of the region’s natural resources that invites all New Yorkers and visitors from around the world to enjoy the natural and historic wonders of this area. The sooner we get the parks and refuges back in business, the sooner New York’s economy will benefit.”

The forum at which Secretary Salazar is offering remarks, the New York City: Sink or Swim: Principles and Priorities for Waterfront Restoration in a Post-Sandy Era, is organized by the Municipal Art Society of New York and the Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE.) at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. The forum is expected to identify priorities for long‐term investments in infrastructure necessary to rebuild safer, stronger, and more resilient communities. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary and Chair of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Shaun Donovan and New York City Mayor Bloomberg will also participate.

EVENT #1: Tour of Liberty Island

WHO: Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
Jonathan Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service
Diane Chalfant, Acting Commissioner, National Parks of New York Harbor, NPS
David Luchsinger, Superintendent, Statue of Liberty National Monument
Denny Zieman, Commander, Hurricane Sandy Incident Management Team, NPS
WHAT: Tour of Liberty Island
WHEN: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Ferry to Liberty Island departs at 9:50 a.m. EDT; allow sufficient time for security screening, which will begin at 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Battery Park: Meet the National Park Service representatives at the NPS dock located between the Coast Guard Building (1 South Street) and the Staten Island Ferry. Parking is not provided.
MEDIA: Credentialed media interested in attending the boat tour MUST RSVP to Queen Muse (queen_muse@ios.doi.gov) no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on December 12 in order to secure space on the boat.

EVENT #2: Forum on Rebuilding Resilient Communities
WHO:
Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
WHAT: Forum: “Sink or Swim: Principles and Priorities for Waterfront Restoration in a Post-Sandy Era”
WHEN: Thursday, December 13, 2012
9:00 a.m. EDT – Donovan Remarks
12:30 p.m. EDT – Salazar Remarks
WHERE: Museum of Jewish Heritage
36 Battery Place
New York, NY 10280
MEDIA: Credentialed news media are invited to attend and cover the event. For more information, visit: http://www.mas.org.

###