Strengthening Coastal Counties Resilience Workshop

Oct 29, 2018 | News & Views, What's New

Haley Briel and Dave
Fowler from ASFPM attended the “Strengthening Coastal Counties Resilience Workshop” Oct. 15-17, at the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, just outside of Mobile, Alabama.

The workshop was hosted by the National
Association of Counties with assistance from ASFPM, Coastal States
Organizations and NOAA. The goal was to kick off the Strengthening Coastal
Counties Resilience Challenge. Eligible teams must be counties within coastal
shoreline with populations of less than 250,000, and have FEMA-approved and locally-adopted
hazard mitigation plans. Teams were required to have members from a variety of
positions, including elected officials and coastal managers. The benefits of
being chosen for the program include attendance at this workshop and
participation with mentoring support over the next year. The four selected
teams were from Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes in Louisiana, Cameron and
Willacy Counties in Texas, Harrison County in Mississippi, and Santa Rosa
County in Florida. These teams, as well as internal project staff, technical
experts and guest speakers, came together to hold discussions and facilitate
strategies for collaborative partnerships on the following topics:

Community Resilience Planning

Hazard Vulnerability Assessments

Resilience Strategies

Hazard Mitigation Implementation

Communication and Public Outreach

Fowler presented on resilience strategies
drawn from his 40 years with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Whitney Gray, Florida Resilient Coastlines Administrator, provided
an overview of the Florida DEP guidance for coastal resilience planning
processes and implementation strategies. She also referenced two documents, Florida Adaptation Planning Guidebook
and the Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning Guidebook Addendum.

Darryl Boudreau, Watershed Coordinator with The Nature
Conservancy, provided examples of effective natural resilient strategies being
implemented around the Gulf of Mexico region.

Niki Pace, Sustainability Coordinator, Law and Policy
Program, Louisiana Sea Grant, gave a presentation on legal and liability issues
tied to hazard mitigation and resilience strategies, such as potential
liability for inaction and property takings issues. Several documents cited
during the presentation had been authored by ASFPM members Jon Kusler and Ed Thomas.

Renee Collini, Coordinator, Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel
Site Cooperative, and Brandon Lewis,
Senior Analyst, Environmental Finance, Public Financial Management, gave an
overview of the types of funding resources available, tips on how to identify
and access those resources, and information on how to set yourself up to
successfully receive funding when opportunities arise. Funding is a crucial
element to the success of any program, and this session sparked a lot of
questions and discussion.

By the end of the
workshop, the 40 attendees had brainstormed and developed plans for a project
to complete in their respective communities over the coming year. ASFPM staff
were assigned to mentor and provide guidance to Harrison County, Mississippi,
and will do so over this year. The group will meet again next year to share
their findings and experiences undertaking the projects they designed and

Ultimately, the
Strengthening Coastal Counties Resilience Workshop was an excellent opportunity
for Gulf Coast practitioners to share best practices, relay stories, and learn
more about strategies that may be applicable and appropriate in their home
communities. It is our hope that four successful projects emerge over the year
and lasting partnerships between county staff, elected officials and ASFPM can
be forged.