Brian Flaherty trudges up Waterford Beach Park on a spectacular mid-June morning, stopping at a scruffy section of the dune that separates the beach from the salt marsh behind it.

There is snow fencing in front of the dune, which faces Long Island Sound. Visible toward the rear are dead Christmas trees, their needles peeking above the sand.

“This was the major breach,” said Flaherty, this shoreline town’s recreation and parks director. “If you were to come down here after Sandy you could literally look right into the marsh.”

Read more: The Day

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