Coastal Community Resilience
Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” after an event. Disaster resilience is the capacity of a community exposed to hazards to adapt, by resisting or changing, in order to reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning and structure. Community resilience is determined by the degree to which a community is capable of organizing itself to increase its capacity for learning from past disasters.
Resilience can be thought of like a trampoline. When a person lands on the trampoline, it bends (and stretches) with them and then bounces back to its original shape and position. A resilient community, when under stress from a disaster event, may bend and change over time from its original condition. During this process of change, a community may keep some features and improve others in order to increase its capacity to rebound.
As our climate continues to change, there is a need to increase public awareness of coastal hazards and to encourage residents to prepare for storm events. In addition, residents should be aware of how catastrophic events affect various aspects of the community: economic, social, and ecological wellness. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance Coastal Community Resilience Team brings together members from various disciplines in a regional effort to share lessons and experiences, and to begin discussing issues that cross state boundaries. This collaboration and partnering effort will help coastal communities progress from response to resilience. The team has many long-term partnership goals that effect the general public including:
- Assisting coastal communities with identifying localized risks and consequences to natural, manmade, and social environments.
- Educating residents and visitors of the Gulf of Mexico coastal communities about the risks and consequences associated with living, working, and doing business along the Gulf.
- Providing state-of-the-art methods for lowering these risks, addressing consequences, and ultimately increasing resilience.
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance Environmental Education Network (GOMAEEN) offers educational materials that enhance environmental literacy. It can be used to empower and increase citizen participation in Gulf Coast communities. The digital library contains hurricane models, storm surge visuals, and much more.
Coordinator for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Community Resilience Team
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
Federal Lead for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Community Resilience Team
Gulf Coast Services Center