The 2018 Bays and Bayous Symposium takes place this week, and many researchers and practitioners will be presenting their work in Mississippi and Alabama. One project that will be discussed is the EPA-Funded “Connecting the Dots to Resilience” project.
I have told you in the past about the Fairhope Docks redevelopment project, where the City of Fairhope (Alabama) and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant have worked to redesign the dilapidated marina, which is city-owned, to address stormwater runoff and incorporate clean and resilient marina standards. The city is well on its way with a plan in hand and has already installed a pumpout station with funding from the Clean Vessel Act. This project is one of three that fall under the Connecting the Dots project.
The goal of Connecting the Dots is to provide technical assistance to a community in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to address a resilient action the community has identified through using the Community Resilience Index. The project team and the community will work together to address the action and to develop a resilient action plan that can serve as a model to other communities with similar issues.
In Biloxi, the city and project team have undertaken an effort to educate the public about several living shorelines projects and to brand the projects under one uniform educational approach. Each shoreline will have similar signage that highlights the value of living shoreline protections and points out how the design of each project differs to the specific site.
The residents and visitors in lower Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, face a lack of grocery stores to purchase food. The nearest grocery store is miles away, and there is no local access to fresh produce and meats. To address this, the Connecting the Dots team is working with those communities to develop resources with the purpose of developing a floating grocery store that would service all of the communities in the area.
All three projects address the unique challenges face by diverse Gulf communities. Although each project is different, they all address the same need: the need for more resilient communities.