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Faculty Publication on Building Community Resilience to Large Oil Spills

Tulane's Disaster Resiliance Leadership Academy has been participating in research for the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities since the consortium's inception. It has just released a synthesis report entitled "Building Community Resilience to Large Oil Spills: Findings and Recommendations from a Synthesis of Research on the Mental Health, Economic, and Community Distress Associated with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill." The document includes contributions by DRLA Director Dr. Reggie Ferreira and DRLA Fellow Dr. Amy Lesen.

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill was the largest in U.S. history, releasing an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The scale of the disaster motivated diverse stakeholders to examine the human dimensions of the spill and how communities' resilience to similar threats could be improved. This examination is needed because, as long as humans depend on extracting oil and gas for energy, coastal regions are at risk for spills. In this report, the authors explore how communities, government officials, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and scientists can build community resilience to large oil spills. Researchers found mixed evidence of distress associated with the DWH disaster and a variety of factors that affected the nature and severity of people's experiences.

The report can be accessed here.