Gulf Coastal Resilience: informing the identification of restoration projects with maximum socio-economic and ecological benefits

Gulf of Mexico

Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas are using Coastal Resilience to identify restoration projects with maximum socio-economic and ecological benefits and examine future flood scenarios from increased storm events and sea level rise

The Gulf of Mexico’s marine and estuarine ecosystems are the foundation of life in the Gulf and form the backbone of the region’s economy.  But the Gulf has seen about half of its coastal habitats vanish during the past century.  As a result of these losses, species have declined and the resilience of the coast in the face of natural and man-made disturbances has been compromised.  The oil spill, and Hurricane Katrina before that, showed starkly how people and the economy are vulnerable when natural habitats are deeply compromised by long term degradation and impacts. 

The region must re-establish the strong, resilient natural communities that for centuries have protected people and wildlife from storms and provided a wealth of fishery production and biodiversity.

The oil spill has focused attention on the Gulf of Mexico and with the passage of the RESTORE Act there is an opportunity to effectively restore Gulf habitats; if we use resources well.  There is an urgent need to quickly provide information to decision-makers, scientists and other key stakeholders who must evaluate the best options for recovery and restoration investments.