I have discussed FEMA’s commitment to helping Texans and Texas communities recover from the disaster. This week I want to address our role as it relates to the natural environment and its creatures. In the Alex recovery effort, one of our many environmental concerns is the plants and animals protected under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
One of our goals in the Hurricane Alex recovery effort is to avoid or minimize adverse impacts on the environment when we approve projects for federal funds or take any other action that might adversely affect our natural surroundings. More specifically, it is our duty under the ESA to avoid spending taxpayer dollars on rebuilding and other recovery projects that might jeopardize the existence of endangered or threatened species, or that might destroy or harm critical habitats.
When Tropical Storm Irene hit on August 27, Jeff Borhek, owner of the general store and gas station in the scenic New England town of Weston, Vt, had not had a vacation in the six years since he bought the property. His only day off: every year at Christmas. “He is married to his business, too,” says his wife Heather.
Two months after Sandy, there are many examples of the strong recovery effort in New York, with organizations working hard in their community and collaborating with government agencies to assist st