Letter from Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator New Jersey Sierra Club
I have been going to Belmar’s beach since I was young and I wanted to do my part to help rebuild the boardwalk, which is why I donated to Belmar’s Buy a Board program. Now I could not be prouder of my donation. I want to thank Mayor Doherty for listening to the concerned citizens around New Jersey by choosing to forgo the use of Ipe (e-pay), a rainforest wood, for their boardwalk. This decision is not only good for the community, but good for the environment. Belmar along with other municipalities are eager to rebuild their boardwalks, but we need to make sure they do so in a sustainable way.
We need other towns to follow in Belmar’s footsteps by rebuilding with the environment and the future of the Jersey Shore in mind. Hurricane Sandy should have been a wakeup call that climate change is real. It should also be an opportunity for towns to tackle the issue of climate change by rebuilding not only in a way that will protect their communities, but others around the world.
Belmar’s choice to not use Ipe benefits Belmar’s residents, indigenous people of the rainforest, and beyond. If Hurricane Sandy taught us one thing it is that we are all in this together. In order to combat climate change we need to move forward whether it is choosing sustainable boardwalk wood or encouraging renewable energy. Belmar has set a precedent with their decision to not use Ipe and I hope other towns will follow.