Repairs underway at Galloway wildlife refuge - NBC40.net

Repairs underway at Galloway wildlife refuge

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GALLOWAY TWP. -

More than 100,000 people visit the Forsythe Wildlife Refuge in Galloway Township, but ever since Hurricane Sandy many parts of the park have been closed, including the popular wildlife drive.

The Forsythe Refuge stretches more than 50 miles up the coast of New Jersey, starting here in Galloway Township, more than 100,000 people come each year to enjoy the scenes, but after Hurricane Sandy the landscape was severely altered.

"One of our major concerns was the significant damage that occurred to the Wildlife Drive here in Galloway Township," Virginia Rettig said.

Wildlife drive is eight miles long and takes visitors into the heart of the refuge, but now it is eroded and unsafe

Construction teams arrived Monday Morning and are in place to bring it back.

"You are going to a whole other universe. You go from Rt. 9, from Atlantic City, from Pleasantville, from the rest stop, the people, yaky yak rat race to an absolute other universe," visitor Rick Rutt said.

"Wildlife drive is a big attraction for people. It's a pretty unique area, because here your are looking at the wildlife, yet you can still see the Atlantic City skyline to the south so it's a really neat place," Rettig said.

While construction crews work on the road, the refuge is also dealing with a major debris problem from the storm. Hundreds of boats, people's roofs, and other debris have washed up on the 50 miles of refuge coast line.

"We have miles of debris between Brick township down here to Galloway, so we are still hoping we can get the funding to do that cleanup," Rettig said.

As for now, some of the trails remain closed, but park officials say they are hoping to have everything reopened in time for the spring bird migration that brings thousands to the refuge.

 

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