A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Hurricane Sandy made US landfall near Atlantic City, NJ on 29 October 2012, causing 72 direct deaths, displacing thousands of individuals from damaged or destroyed dwellings, and leaving over 8.5 million homes without power across the northeast and mid-Atlantic. To coordinate federal rebuilding activities in the affected region, the President established the cabinet-level Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force was charged with identifying opportunities for achieving rebuilding success while supporting economic vitality, improving public health and safety, protecting and enhancing natural and man-made infrastructure, bolstering resilience, and ensuring appropriate accountability.
In January 2013, the Secretary of the Interior directed the SSG to support the Department's participation in the Task Force. The SSG assembled a team of experts from government, academia, and non-governmental organizations – Operational Group Sandy (OGS) – to develop scenarios for the impacts of Hurricane Sandy and future major storms on coastal communities and urban systems in the New York/New Jersey region.
The scenarios included interventions that could improve the resilience of the region to the impacts of future major storms. Scenario results were used to inform the selection of DOI projects to be funded by Hurricane Sandy supplemental funds. A technical report is available here Operational Group Sandy Technical Progress Report.
Collaborating Professional Societies and Academic Centers
To expedite the formation of SSG crisis science teams and broaden our expertise reach for future response efforts, the SSG has forged over 20 partnerships with professional societies and research centers spanning the life, physical, and social sciences, engineering, planning, and design fields. Many are listed below.