Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island are preparing for Superstorm-Marsh clean up

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it will spend $4.7 million for debris removal in marshland in the states. New York City is among the areas designated.
Dianna Parker, a spokeswoman at NOAA's marine debris program, said much of what was tossed into marshes and coastline areas by the October 2012 storm included construction debris, docks, decks, furniture, lumber and boat remains.

The work is specialized and done by only a few companies in the United States, said Reid Loper, senior project manager at CrowderGulf LLC, a Theodore, Alabama, company that removes debris and restores coastal areas.

"Sometimes, it takes a lot of personnel, a lot of manual hand labor," Loper said. "Sometimes that's all you can use."

Marine debris is a potential hazard to navigation, fishing grounds and ecosystems, Connecticut environmental officials said. Marshes are important as buffers to storm surges and are "nursery grounds" for crustaceans, mollusks and fish, said Kate Hughes Brown, grant coordinator at the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Work will begin in Connecticut when permits are issued and could wrap up in a year.

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