Community Resiliency

Resiliency in the environmental realm is generally understood as the ability of communities and the natural environment to  absorb and recover from  storms, flooding, erosion and other extreme conditions. Often societal and  economic resiliency and recovery are tied to environmental resilience.

The Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership (CHNEP) is working on enhancing environmental and community resilience in our program area. This involves using win-win solutions that maintain flood protection and stabilized shorelines in our communities, while enhancing our environmental assets such as our fisheries and water quality.

 

Resiliency in the environmental realm is generally understood as the ability of communities and the natural environment to  absorb and recover from  storms, flooding, erosion and other extreme conditions. Often societal and  economic resiliency and recovery are tied to environmental resilience.

The old adage of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is especially true when it comes to resiliency. Taking measures to identify hazards, assess vulnerability and risks, investigate options, and plan and implement actions before a catastrophe occurs avoids having to pay for even more expensive damages and remedial actions later. 

The CHNEP is working on enhancing environmental and community resilience in our program area. This involves using win-win solutions that maintain flood protection and stabilized shorelines in our communities, while enhancing our environmental assets such as our fisheries and water quality.

 

“Green infrastructure” is one example of a practice that enhances resiliency. It supports healthy ecosystems while protecting  developed areas, using techniques such as created oyster reefs and living shorelines that mimic nature to lessen or offset impacts. 

Scientific studies such as one published in Environmental Science & Policy in 2015 point to the fact that “built infrastructure” such as seawalls can be less effective in providing protection than green infrastructure or hybrid approaches that combine the two. Simultaneously protecting people and the environment with these techniques provides us multiple benefits, giving us even more bang for our buck! 

Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership, 326 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, FL 33950-4417, (941) 575-5090