(MOBILE, Ala.) – The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and Smart Home America are pleased to announce a new, first-of-its-kind partnership to increase wind and flood resilience across coastal Alabama and Mississippi. This agreement aligns the common missions of both organizations through a shared staff position
Both organizations agreed to hire Henry (Hank) Hodde, a certified floodplain manager, as the planning and policy manager at Smart Home America. In this role, Hodde is supporting and leading community and policy planning for Smart Home America while he serves as the liaison for Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium focused on building resilient coastal communities and economies.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to take on this unique role and apply my experience to build bridges between the public and private sectors,” he said. “It’s really a win-win. I get to work with two successful organizations making a difference in the lives of people along the Mississippi and Alabama coasts.” Read more
Tools, resources can help fisheries businesses create business plans and plan for resilience. Read more in Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant’s staff blog by Rusty Grice, oyster aquaculture business specialist.
“Recently, I attended a seminar that was presented by agents from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System called F.A.R.M Outlook 2017 which stands for Farm Agribusiness Resource Management. The goal was to introduce a recently formed team of specialists to our farmers and make them aware of business management resources and tools through Outreach. The areas of expertise represented included economics, accounting, tax law and crop management among others…” Read more
The 2016 Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Bays and Bayous Symposium’s program committee welcomes and encourages the participation of scientists, natural resource professionals, students, business people, educators, outreach specialists, policy and decision makers, consultants and individuals from governmental or non-governmental organizations to submit a presentation abstract.
Presenters are encouraged to discuss current research results that are relevant to Gulf of Mexico environmental issues and how this research is used to support the economy, the environment and society by informing the decision-making process or increasing marine science literacy.
Session topics include:
Climate and hazard resilience
Oil spill impacts
Habitat management and restoration
Water quality and quantity
Abstracts can be submitted for both oral and poster presentations. The oral presentations will be 15 minutes with a 5-minute question-and-answer session following each presentation. Individuals wishing to present must submit an abstract no later than 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Abstracts will be limited to 250 words.
Are you experiencing saltwater intrusion to your aging infrastructure?
Do you have low-lying roads that are susceptible to flooding? Finding it problematic to secure funding for projects to mitigate for hazardous events? Is it difficult to communicate the risks associated with some of these impacts?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are not alone. A recent survey revealed that coastal flooding, saltwater intrusion and risk communication are still among the most challenging issues communities in our area are facing.
So what can communities do to “move the needle” on these complex issues? Well, one way is to learn from each other. On April 19-21, 2016, the Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice will be hosting its 7th Annual Meeting in Biloxi, Miss.
This year, participants will work together on the above issues in small groups to develop creative solutions and plans for taking action in their local communities. Teams of experts in science, adaptation, extension, and communication will be ready to “roll up their sleeves” and get to work brainstorming what resources can be brought to the table, what tools can be used to visualize options, and what costs are associated with various adaptation actions.
New at this year’s meeting will be a poster session and awards programthat will offer an opportunity for participants to showcase best practices and current research for topics, such as climate resilient communities, clean energy future and impacts of sea level rise on coastal and estuarine systems.
Participants will go on a field trip and learn how the City of Biloxi is tackling climate issues with new ordinances, high water mark initiatives and a commitment to the Community Rating System. Of course you don’t want to miss the Spirit of Community Awards, which recognize excellence in the field of climate communication and adaptation. To top it all off, a down-home fish frywill give participants an opportunity to network while enjoying the sights and sounds of Old Biloxi.
Why attend a gathering of this kind? Because you can make the difference in moving the needle toward a more resilient future. This year, decide to take action, commit to pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and make plans to join us for an experience that will be well worth your time and energy. Registration will open in early February.
Situated on Biscayne Bay, the city of Miami experiences many of the issues that waterfront communities face each day. (Florida Sea Grant photo)
As urban, commercial, and rural waterfronts across the U.S. face challenges to their continued existence and development, community leaders are increasingly finding solutions by listening, learning and interacting with each other.
It’s the only conference of its kind to bring together planners, property developers, researchers, elected officials, attorneys, and other stakeholders from waterfront communities to learn about local, state and national initiatives, management approaches and tools to address issues of water access and water-dependent industries.
Attendees will hear about new approaches that increase the capacity of coastal communities to balance competing uses and plan for the future of working waterfronts and waterways, according to conference organizer Bob Swett, a specialist in boating issues and waterways planning for Florida Sea Grant.
“They are dedicated champions of local working waterfronts, and they come from throughout the U.S. to share ideas and solutions, and to learn about new approaches,” he said. “Being in the company of hundreds of such like-minded souls can be quite transformative.”
This year’s conference includes sessions on redevelopment of waterfront communities, marine industry sustainability, surviving commercial fishing declines, land-use issues related to waterway management, and preserving maritime culture and heritage.
Registration for the symposium is $425 until Oct. 19. For commercials entities and organizations wishing to engage with attendees, sponsorships that include display space are available through a range of packages on a first-come, first-served basis.
Many restoration planning documents and programs in the Gulf of Mexico highlight the need to address climate change impacts as part of the restoration framework. While precedent exists on how to integrate climate change into restoration decision-making, many post-Deepwater Horizon restoration projects fail to adequately address climate change impacts.
At the same time, coastal communities in the Gulf of Mexico region are both on the front line of climate impacts, as well as the ones hit hardest by the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.
This webinar will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the complex intersection of climate change, community resilience and Gulf of Mexico restoration, focusing on the challenges of and opportunities for creating restoration projects that both incorporate climate change considerations and are responsive to the needs of coastal communities.
The webinar will take place from 1-3 p.m. (Central Time), on Friday, April 10.
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.
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.