In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, two Texas A&M groups have teamed up to launch the Community Resilience Collaborative, a research-and-extension-based planning program aimed at bolstering the resilience of the state’s coastal communities to natural hazards and at enhancing or restoring their habitats and ecosystems.
The project combines the efforts Texas Target Communities, a service learning outreach program of the Texas A&M College of Architecture and its Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, and the Texas Sea Grant College Program, which connects National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration initiatives with those of the state of Texas and its universities.
The CRC was launched with rapid response funding a few weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas Coast in August 2017, causing more than $125 billion in damage.
Uniting the College of Architecture’s nationally recognized experts in land use planning, hazard mitigation and disaster recovery with Texas Sea Grant resources, the CRC is aiding affected coastal communities with planning and funding small grants for local research. The initiative also provides transformational learning experiences for Texas A&M students collaborating with faculty and staff on CRC programs.
In addition to assessing storm damage and making recommendations for enhancing community resilience, CRC workers will train local officials in the basics of coastal planning, such as best practices, resources and tools.
“The CRC is being formed at a time when Texas’ coastal communities are just beginning their recovery from Hurricane Harvey,” Shannon Van Zandt, interim head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. “Recovery is a critical phase because it’s an opportunity to make some big changes in the communities, and I’m excited to see what we can do in terms of building a resilient future into their recovery plans.”
Learn more about the Community Resilience Collaborative in the Winter/Spring 2018 issue of Texas Shores, a publication of the Texas Sea Grant College Program. The cover story, “Harvey Prompts Early Launch of New Collaborative,” begins on page 3.