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A Sandy-Devastated Neighborhood Returns to Nature

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Take a walk down Kissam Avenue on the southern shore of Staten Island and it almost feels like walking through a wildlife refuge. A marsh waving with phragmites stretches off to your right; to your left, a few overgrown lots where homes once stood.

After Sandy destroyed many homes on this street and others in Staten Island, the residents of Oakwood Beach approached New York state for a buyout. Now Oakwood Beach is one of three neighborhoods in Staten Island that have become part of a state buyout program. The buyouts are voluntary, with 300 of the 320 homes interested in the program.

The hope is that a "managed retreat" like this will serve as a buffer if extreme weather strikes again.