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.
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 as the award winner. The award recognizes Corpus Christi as a leader in planning for climate change.
“The creation of the City of Corpus Christi’s first Integrated Community Sustainability Plan was a data-driven process conducted by an interdisciplinary team of technical specialists with input from city decision makers and community stakeholders at every step,” said Heather Wade, coastal planning specialist with Texas Sea Grant. “It yielded implementation recommendations on topics from climate to urban agriculture to bicycle trails in the form of bite-sized action items that range from no-cost community-based activities to major capital improvements to city.”
The city also participates in 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.
Photo caption: 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.