Coastal Community Resilience
The coast of the Gulf of Mexico has attracted and supported human settlement for over 12,000 years. From the beginning, these settlements have faced and adapted to challenges of living along the coast. Economics and aesthetics were responsible for the growth of coastal populations and fostered the persistence and resettlement of these communities after fire, war, famine, disease, and storms. The economic, ecological, and social losses from coastal hazard events have multiplied as development and population growth increasingly place people in harm's way and as the ecosystems' natural resilience is compromised by development and pollution. These pressures continue to shape the Gulf Coast today. In addition, the latest climate change research suggests that new challenges are on the horizon from sea level rise and other impacts.
Action Plan I "Successes"
- Created a Draft Resilience Index as a Self-Assessment tool for Coastal Communities.
- Installed New Monitoring Equipment to Measure Changes in Land Elevations and Water Levels.
- Enhanced Storm Surge Modeling and Visualization for a Pilot Area around Pensacola.
- Developed a Rapid Response System to Record the Timing, Extent, and Magnitude of Storm Surge and Coastal Flooding During Major Storms in the Gulf.
Action Plan II "Goals"
- Provide tools to coastal communities to better understand the risks and impacts associated with coastal hazards, including climate changes. In addition, the Alliance will assess the risks of coastal hazards to the natural, built, and social environments of the Gulf Coast and increase infrastructure to better quantify these risks in the future.
- Prepare an inventory of existing capabilities and tools to address coastal hazards in the Gulf region, identify important gaps, and, where needed, develop new methods to enhance regional and local resilience.
- Inform communities about the risks associated with coastal hazards and provide access to the tools necessary to increase their resilience.