Sandy Hook is stronger than Sandy!

As life in New York metropolitan area slowly returns to normal after the Frankenstorm, some of the city dwellers start thinking beyond the most vital issues. I’ve heard from several people already their concern about whether we’ll have a proper beach season next summer, because of some rumours that beaches got destroyed. So, yours truly got on a plane and went to check it out. Well, luckily I have a friend who is a pilot on a small plane and we planned a flight on the clear morning last Sunday…

When we reached the coastal area of Rockaway, it was obvious that for many people by the waterfront, the most essential question was still… where to live.

A large part of Breezy Point was wiped out by fire that fire department wasn’t able to reach because of the flooding.

These are aerial photographs of one of my favorite beaches, Fort Tilden, before Sandy.

And these are from this Sunday.

The beach itself looks as beautiful, but you can see that the dunes receded… and their sand covers the road now! I have mixed feeling about it being less accessible now. In a way, it is also nice to have some wilderness areas within NYC boundaries.

Jersey Shore suffered from Frankenstorm even more, but we flew only above its northernmost tip, Sandy Hook. Gunnison beach of Sandy Hook, probably my favorite one in the area, appeared totally flooded at first sight.

But it definitely remains to be a wide sandy beach as we know it!

It’s got this interesting sand barrier structure that goes along the shore, but I doubt it will last till next summer.

Parts of the road were still flooded, and I am sure there is a lot of mud and sand.

Another thing that I noticed looking at the beach, was that the parts of sand dunes covered with plants, even just grass or small bushes, seemed to have resisted the surge pretty well.

This made me think that the fence that limits access to the dunes for protection of shorebirds, such as plovers, was actually also necessary to preserve the plant cover. This, in turn, reminded me of a couple of case when I saw rangers patrolling the beach hitting the fence while passing through it and not bothering to put it back! One friend of mine took care of it, and he made it artfully!

In any case, I have no doubt that there will be a beach season next summer. Sandy Hook proved to be stranger than Sandy!

Run for the Wild!

I will be happy if some of my dear readers support me in raising money for conservation of lions!

Next Saturday I will participate in a 5k fundraiser run at the Bronx Zoo, Run for the Wild. We are raising money for the Wildlife Conservation Society, this year particularly for lion conservation. I unfortunately I cannot promise to run totally bare, as I usually do, but I will run barefoot. I used to have Vibram Fivefingers ‘barefoot’ shoes, but I lost them in my last trip, so I will run totally barefoot. I am still learning the techniques of Moving Naturally system, which I mention in the post about Jones Beach, which I find less energy-demanding than running that we’re used to after wearing thick sole shoes.

In case you wonder why lions need money to support them, this is what I wrote on my personal Run for the Wild page:

Join me in making tracks for lions! On April 28, I will be participating in the WCS Run for the Wild, a 5K run/walk at the Bronx Zoo. This event is dedicated to these beloved big cats, which are losing ground across the African Plains. The funds I raise will go toward the Wildlife Conservation Society projects to conserve lions and other imperiled animals around the globe and at the Bronx Zoo.

Did you know that lions now live in only a small number of African countries? The nations of Morocco, Algeria, Congo, and Gabon have lost all of their lions.

If we do not act soon, they could also vanish from Nigeria, South Sudan, and Uganda.

Being at the top of energy pyramid in many habitats in Africa, they are essential to the ecosystem. Even $10 will make a difference for lions African ecosystem. The donations I collect will go toward WCS efforts to monitor lions and work with local communities toco-exist peacefully with the big cats. With your support, WCS will continue this important work.

Please also consider joining me for this fun event! You can register at

Thanks in advance for your generosity and your commitment to saving lions.

Please support me, lions and Wildlife Conservation Society following this link.