Post-Sandy Aid Excludes Connecticut Wildlife Refuge

Nearly $10 million for repairs was stripped from the final bill.

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A damaged fence at Outer Island after Hurricane Sandy.
The Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge includes Outer Island, part of the Thimble Islands. Photo:Tylar Greene, Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service
Interview with Rep. Rosa DeLauro
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Interview with Rep. Rosa DeLauro

Last week, the US House of Representatives managed to pass a $50 billion Sandy relief package, but an amendment tacked on to the bill cut some $10 million to repair Westport's Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge.

Connecticut's third district Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro says damage sustained at the refuge was significant, and the aid package was vital to restoration efforts.

"We had about $10.9 million in damage across the refuge," Rep. DeLauro said. "The docks, the fences, education, research buildings, walkways, beach erosion. By cutting this funding, this hurts our ability to meet a federal commitment, which is to conserve wildlife, provide education and outdoor recreation for the public." 

While she supported and voted for the bill, Rep. DeLauro said the amendment was "vindictive" on the part of Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana, saying, "This is nothing more than a vindicitive amendment, and it needlessly slashed disaster relief for one particular state - our state of Connecticut."