Corpus Christi recognized as leader in climate planning

The Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice has awarded the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Spirit of Community Award for the local community category to Corpus Christi, Texas.

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Heather Wade, left, a Coastal Planning Specialist with the Texas Sea Grant College Program and member of the Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice, presents Danielle Converse, Environmental Services Superintendent with the City of Corpus Christi’s Office of Environmental and Strategic Initiatives, with the Spirit of Community Award on April 9 in Orange Beach, Ala.

Members of the community of practice, a group of professionals in the Gulf who work together to learn how coastal communities can adapt to sea-level rise, precipitation changes and other climate-related issues, selected Corpus Christi for the award to recognize its leadership in planning for climate change.

“The creation of Corpus Christi’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan was a data-driven process conducted by an interdisciplinary team with input from city decision makers and community stakeholders at every step,” said Heather Wade, Coastal Planning Specialist with the Texas Sea Grant College Program. “It generated implementation recommendations on topics from climate to urban agriculture to bicycle trails in the form of\action items that range from no-cost community-based activities to major capital improvements to the city.”

Corpus Christi participates in other resilience activities through Texas Sea Grant, the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Texas Nature Conservancy. The city also has a presence at public events and aims to educate the public on issues related to climate, such as coastal hazards, drought and water conservation.

The Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice is made up of more than 400 education, outreach and extension professionals, as well as community leaders and planners, whose work includes contributing to the resilience of coastal communities.

The award has special meaning because recipients must be nominated by their colleagues and voting is open to all members of the Climate Outreach Community of Practice in the entire Gulf of Mexico.

Corpus Christi was applauded for its climate-change outreach and planning efforts during the group’s annual meeting April 9 in Orange Beach, Ala.

For more information, see http://masgc.org/climate-outreach-community-of-practice.

Hanisko recognized for leadership in climate field

The Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice has awarded the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Spirit of Community Award to Marian Hanisko, a coastal management specialist on contract with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Gulf Coast Services Center and an Ocean Springs, Miss., resident. Her peers in this professional group selected her as the colleague most deserving of recognition for leadership in climate issues. Hanisko organizes climate-related webinars that allow for distance learning training, helps users explore climate-related tools, and facilitates meetings across the region.

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Niki Pace, right, research counsel for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program presents Marian Hanisko, left, with the Spirit of Community Award on April 9 in Orange Beach, Ala.

The Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice is made up of more than 400 education, outreach and extension professionals, as well as community leaders and planners, whose work includes contributing to the resilience of coastal communities.

The Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice brings together extension, outreach and education professionals and community officials in the Gulf to learn how coastal communities can adapt to sea-level rise, precipitation changes and other climate-related issues. Members work together so that they can be better equipped with reliable information and science-based guidance regarding the level of risk to their communities and strategies they can use to adapt to climate change.

The award has special meaning because recipients must be nominated by their colleagues and voting is open to all members of the Climate Community of Practice in the entire Gulf of Mexico.

“Marian works well with others, and as a Mississippi resident and former Coastal Training Program Coordinator with the Grand Bay NERR, she understands the attitudes, perceptions and beliefs of local Gulf communities,” said Niki Pace, research counsel for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant.

Hanisko was applauded for her climate-change outreach efforts during the annual meeting April 9 in Orange Beach, Ala.