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Big, Colliding Problems in Gulf and Elsewhere Need Science-Based Solutions Now

, Economist

Hurricane Laura, one of the most intense hurricanes to hit the Gulf in over a century made landfall along the Texas-Louisiana border early this morning. But even before Laura hit today, 2020 has been a hard year for the Gulf. Many communities along our Southern coast face a multitude of big, colliding environmental and public problems. That includes longstanding ones as well as ones new this year. But regardless of when these problems began or how long they have afflicted the Gulf, they can only be adequately addressed with policies that are firmly grounded in science. Read more >

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Three Reasons Why the COVID Relief Executive Order Is Bad Policy

, Climate Resilience Analyst

On August 8, in response to the Congressional stalemate on passing a coronavirus relief package and their failure to renew benefits to individuals who have lost wages due to the COVID-19 economic crisis, the President signed an Executive Order bypassing Congress. On the surface it would seem that the Executive Order solved the Congressional impasse and by doing so ensured that badly needed resources would be allocated to individuals who have lost wages due to the pandemic, right? WRONG. Here are three reasons why the Executive Order is bad policy: Read more >

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Hurricanes and COVID-19 in Florida: Are Counties Prepared to Protect Hurricane-Vulnerable Populations?

Andrea Ramos, Ph.D. candidate in Public Administration and Dr. John L. Renne, AICP, , UCS

Hurricane season is underway, and many counties in Florida, severely impacted by Hurricanes Irma (2017) and Michael (2018), may not be ready to protect lives. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this task becomes even more difficult, as evacuating during a pandemic places greater burdens on vulnerable populations. Read more >

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Pollution, Hurricanes, and the Pandemic Spell Trouble for Gulf Shrimp and Seafood Industries

, Economist

Today researchers announced the size of the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, the official measurement NOAA uses to track its size year over year. This comes on the heels of bad news from another NOAA report indicating that the volume of Gulf shrimp landings in June 2020 was the lowest ever recorded.   Read more >

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The First COVID-19 Era Hurricane Season Is Here. Are We Ready?

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

Today NOAA announced its 2020 Atlantic hurricane season forecast and projected an above average year, with a likely range of 6-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes expected. This year, we also face hurricane season amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and a worsening economic downturn—yet another example of compound risks that are part of our new normal. Our nation’s ability to keep people safe is going to be severely tested, and in large part depends on how well the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state and local authorities work together under these unprecedented circumstances.

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