SANDY CREEK, N.Y. (WWNY) -
Richard Jordan III said he’s watched high water take its toll on the habitat at Sandy Pond.
“There you go. There’s a classic example of the problem. You see over there? A dead turtle floating over there. Makes me just want to cry,” Jordan III said.
His family has been protecting this habitat in Sandy Pond since World War II. It has miles of delicate dunes and marshlands that house more than 140 species of birds and other wildlife.
“They decided this was a really special place, and they protected it,” Jordan said.
While the area might look like a walk in the woods, it’s actually all sand dunes. and right now high waters are taking them away.
“This is absolutely catastrophic, critical, man-made, and it’s just not gonna last,” Jordan III said.
What was once more than a mile of beach is now more like a graveyard.
Hundred-year-old trees are falling off the dunes every day as erosion continues rapidly.
“One of my trees fell off the beach probably 10 minutes before I got over there this morning and I could still smell the burnt roots in the air from the tree snapping and I broke down and cried for about 15 minutes,” Jordan III said. "Its absolutely heartbreaking, its so special, and we fought so hard to keep it nice fr everybody and its just getting washed away.
Some dunes behind receded by 30 feet in 2017. Rocks were put in spots to prevent it from happening again, but just this year, another 30 feet have receded.
Jordan III said protecting this land and the wildlife that live here hasn’t been a problem until recently. He’s calling it...
“An ongoing, absolute complete mismanagement of the earth."