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Storm Debris From Trash To Treasure

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A Connecticut man is turning Superstorm Sandy debris into art.

Matt Peel is an associate high school principal in Griswold, and he lives in Pawcatuck, just minutes from the Misquamicut Beach.

The father, husband and beach-goer is a Connecticut native who didn’t want to see Superstorm Sandy trash stay that way.

“I didn’t want to see all that history thrown out,” said Peel.

With his tools and his craft-making background, he set his sights on making sure Misquamicut Beach was a better place to look at.

In the winter, with permission from beach officials, he grabbed his vehicle and piled debris inside and started getting to work.

“I just cut it to length and I nail it or glue it together. Other than that it’s exactly how I found it at the beach,” he said.

The only one slightly modified was the mirror.  Peel said everything else has not been painted. He said all the different colors on the flags are from the dunes.

“I have dune fencing and I have broken signs and broken pieces of driftwood.”

All the pieces took time to create, but a coffee table he made took the most. Peel said it took about 30 to 40 hours, but it was all worth it.

“I have an opportunity to do that and help others, then that’s what I like to do,” he said.

Ten pieces are already finished, ranging from wooden American flags to a mirror, a sign, and a tray.

Peel plans on sawing a few more edges to create bird houses. Once he creates a few more pieces he plans on going to area businesses to sell the artwork. He said he will donate all the money to the Misquamicut Relief fund.

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