The Statue of Liberty withstood the force of Hurricane Sandy when it struck last fall, but storm damage closed Liberty Island to tourists just weeks after renovations were completed to the area. AmeriCorps Cape Cod FireCorps members working on Sandy recovery efforts joined the National Park Service to clean up the island, ensuring the American landmark would be ready when it reopens to visitors on July 4th.
The team was dispatched to Ellis Island and Liberty Island to help assist with the storm cleanup through a partnership with the Cape Cod National Seashore. The FireCorps members cleared man-made and natural debris during their assignment.
The team made their mark on the islands as they worked long days on the repair and cleanup effort, helping to fill eight 30-year dumpsters with storm debris during their first week on assignment in November 2012.
After learning the team would be working at the Statue of Liberty, AmeriCorps member Matt Spears told The Barnstable Patriot that, "it almost became more important. Not only do the people of New York see these two icons, but the people of the whole world view these icons as America."