BLUE RIBBON RESILIENT COMMUNITIES:
Envisioning The Future of America’s Energy Coast
The BRRC initiative was launched in response to the growing vulnerabilities along the Gulf Coast in the wake of coastal land loss and degrading landscapes that threaten coastal populations and indigenous cultures.
An analysis of risks to local infrastructure from a multi-million dollar study commissioned by the America’s WETLAND Foundation and the Entergy Corporation served as a baseline for the project. The Building a Resilient Energy Gulf Coast Adaptation Study shows rising sea levels, fiercer and more frequent hurricanes and environmental degradation that could result in $350 billion is losses in the four offshore energy-producing states over the next 20 years.
The study also explains that the livelihoods of 12 million people living near the coast, the sustainability of rich natural resources that support $634 billion in annual GDP, and the security of residential, commercial and industrial assets valued at more than $2 trillion are increasingly vulnerable to storm surge, flooding, wind damage, and the effects of sea level rise.
The Blue Ribbon Resilient Communities Project held series of leadership forums in 11 communities during a 14-month period that engaged more than 1,100 stakeholders across the five Gulf States of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Each forum assessed local vulnerabilities and empowered the region to envision, plan and act to ensure resiliency and to sustain cultural, economic and ecological values in the face of growing coastal degradation.
At the end of the process the America’s WETLAND Foundation released a report based on the forums entitled “Beyond Unintended Consequences: Adaptation for Gulf Coast Resiliency and Sustainability. The report offers 30 recommendations for Gulf Coast sustainability based on research and testimony from the forums.