As a proud New Jerseyan, who presently lives a stone’s throw away from some of the hardest hit areas of New York, Hurricane Sandy is still something that I am reminded of on a daily basis. You may think this is an exaggeration, especially since I was lucky enough to not even lose so much as an internet connection during the storm, but that doesn’t change what I have seen every day, since. The “R” train was literally just restored to full service on the 21st, some of my neighbors have yet to take the tape off of their windows (whether this is laziness or a means of expressing solidarity, I’m not quite sure), and my uncle’s home, like so many others, is still considered uninhabitable.
Despite the fact that some members of the House of Representatives are failing to empathize with hurricane victims (I urge you to watch the link above), other branches of government are getting creative. The state Department of Environmental Protection is leading the charge to rebuild the shore with Christmas trees. They plan on repairing the many sand dunes down the shore that were destroyed by the storm with the trees. The used pines and douglas firs that once were adorned with ornaments and housed the gifts of children all over the state will literally become a gift, themselves, being repurposed as the foundation of several new dunes along the coastline and barrier islands.
If you are in the area and have the time to volunteer, I hope you sign up. Fortheshore.org is a great website offering opportunities for clean up and donations. If you live in NJ, and would like more information about Christmas tree collection drive contact Katie Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org. or click here!
Julia Cuozzo is a grad student at Pace University pursuing a Masters in Publishing. Though the future is uncertain, the one thing she knows is that in August 2013, she will be in Bunol, Spain, throwing tomatoes with some of the best tomato throwers in the world. She is also a huge fan of coffee and finds decaf to be an abomination.