The Irony of the Boardwalk

It seems that we cannot get away from the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. Now of course, we are talking about rebuilding. The big question is; are we going to rebuild wisely.

Hurricane Sandy Damage

Belmar recently announced that it was using recycled plastic lumber rather than a tropical hardwood called Ipe. The decision was reached under duress. Apparently, the Mayor of Belmar was convinced that Ipe was a sound choice for a new boardwalk.

This type of thought process is indicative of the misdirected thinking associated with rebuilding at the shore. Ipe is a tropical hardwood. To prepare enough wood for the Belmar Boardwalk would have required the destruction of some 5000 acres of rainforest based on some estimates.

Oddly enough, combining deforestation and climate change one is drawn to a hypothesis that this storm was as severe as it was in part due to human activities. Thus, it seems a bit ironic that at least one community wanted to continue to contribute to additional deforestation.

Thankfully, the Township saw the folly of its thought process and ordered the alternative material. My best guess is that this new boardwalk will divert nearly 1,000,000 bottles from the landfill and will result in 0 destruction of rainforest land.

So it seems that the right decision was reached even if it was reached under duress.

Congratulations Belmar for doing the right thing.


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