New Orleans' key environmental threats are severe storms or hurricanes and flooding events. The impacts from these events are exacerbated by cumulative physical stresses like climate change, coastal wetland loss, and land subsidence which places a significant stress on aging urban infrastructure systems. In addition, New Orleans faces social stresses, like poor economic, educational, and health outcomes among a large vulnerable population.
As the city pivots from a focus on post-disaster recovery to resilience for the future, awareness and accurate understanding of current and future risks by a broad constituency of community members is imperative. Resilience AmeriCorps will support implementation of the City's Resilient New Orleans Strategy (adopted August 2015) and will help create a culture of environmental awareness across the city. Specific goals for the VISTAs may include supporting the launch of a Coastal New Orleans public awareness campaign and designing a creative engagement toolkit tailored to locally relevant content areas such as storm resilience home improvements, business continuity planning, and community leadership training and promotion.
"Our work thus far has truly been a partnership between the public sector, private homeowners, neighborhood leaders, and our philanthropic partners."Mayor Mitch Landrieu