New Jerseyans salvage Hurricane Sandy debris to create new goods |

The Tuckerton Creek overflowed into many of the buildings in the borough’s historic seaport during Hurricane Sandy, leaving the maritime museum with dumpsters full of debris to discard.

Ben Wurst works on cutting out an outline of New Jersey from wood he salvaged from debri left by Hurricane Sandy.


Erin O’Neill/The Star-Ledger   But among the piles of trash, Ben Wurst spotted the opportunity to create something new.

Now flooring from the seaport is stacked among other piles of salvaged wood outside of Wurst’s home in the New Gretna section of Bass River Township. There, in a small woodshop in his backyard, Wurst turns old fences, floors and walls into frames, furniture and collectibles.

“At least I got some of it — as much as I could, there was tons of it — just to try and save some of it from going to the landfill,” Wurst — who owns reclaimed LLC — said about the flooring from the seaport.

Wurst has used that wood — as well as pieces of the building known as “The Shack” that sat along Route 72 heading into Long Beach Island and was destroyed during Sandy — to create cutouts of New Jersey that he sells online.

“We have a cool state to cut out, I think. Our whole state is defined by water pretty much if you look at it. You have the river, the bay and the ocean,” he said.

Wurst said he found the Shack debris after the storm and knew it belonged to the iconic structure because of the age of the wood. He donated 30 percent of the proceeds he made from sales in January to hurricane relief.

Renee Kennedy, who handles public relations for the Tuckerton Seaport, lauded Wurst for “just taking that wood and reclaiming it and doing something else with it.”

Wurst isn’t alone in his efforts.

Read the entire inspiring article via New Jerseyans salvage Hurricane Sandy debris to create new goods |