Stronger Than the Storm

Protecting the People & Communities of Long Beach Island

When the brute force of Hurricane Sandy landed on New Jersey’s coastline, one iconic destination came to symbolize the scale of devastation. Home to some 20,000 residents in the offseason, postcard-worthy Long Beach Island (LBI) swells to 100,000 with the return of summer residents.

While federally funded sand dunes served as a critical barrier to the unprecedented onslaught, few homes and businesses were left completely unscathed. From the interruption of essential power and natural gas to wide scale structural destruction, LBI’s losses were heavy and costly.

The battle to secure federal funding to protect beaches has historically been a major challenge in Washington. Both Democrat and Republican administrations have cut or eliminated funding, labeling it “unnecessary,” and leaving Members of Congress in coastal districts to engage in a perpetual fight.

Fighting & Winning for LBI

The WSW team has been privileged to represent LBI on Capitol Hill since 2005, aiding the island in securing the first wave of essential construction dollars for coastal protection, and successfully defending the funding in subsequent budget years.

It was this funding that helped complete major portions of the dune project prior to Sandy. The remainder of the project is on track for construction using funding from the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Appropriations Act.

For the WSW team, our work on behalf of these great communities is a professional and personal mission. WSW’s own Kristen Michaels returned to the Jersey Shore full-time after a decade of service in Washington including as an appropriations staffer for Senator Frank Lautenberg. She now heads WSW’s New Jersey office as a full-time, in-state resource for clients in New Jersey and the surrounding region.

For WSW, making sure the next chapter in LBI’s story is as vibrant as its history is a mission worth fighting.