Although it's been 17 months since Superstorm Sandy battered the Holgate section of the Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, the monster storm left its mark.
So more than 120 volunteers, most of them members of the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association, gathered at the southern tip of Long Beach Island last Saturday morning to do a beach clean-up.
They had their work cut out for them. They filled two huge 30-yard dumpsters with trash and debris left over from the Oct. 29, 2012 storm that decimated the Jersey Coast.
The Holgate section of the refuge is a 3.5 mile strip of barrier beach and dunes, that was fairly pristine before Sandy struck.
“We are thrilled that the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association did such an outstanding job cleaning the beach and dune area of Holgate” said Virginia Rettig, manager of the Forsythe Refuge. “Their dedication to New Jersey’s beaches is commendable.”
The bulk of the debris was pieces of wood from docks and buildings, along with parts of boats, trash containers, and other household waste. A few unique items were found, including a stuffed-animal replica of a Snowy Owl, Rettig said.
New Jersey Beach Buggy Association members volunteered not only their time and labor, but their beach buggies, using the vehicles to haul heavy debris up the beach to the waiting dumpster, where it was offloaded, she said.
For further information about Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, call the Refuge at 609-652-1665, visit http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Edwin_B_Forsythe/, or find the refuge on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ForsytheNWR.