About the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities

A shrimp boat trawls near healthy marsh, bayous and water ways east of the mouth of the Atchafalaya River near Morgan City, Louisiana April 20, 2011. Photo by Sean Gardner/REUTERS

Photo by Sean Gardner/ReutersA shrimp boat trawls near healthy marsh, bayous and water ways east of the mouth of the Atchafalaya River near Morgan City, Louisiana

The Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities (CRGC) was established in 2015 with a three-year grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to assess and address the social, economic, and public health impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico region. CRGC’s research, outreach, and education goals are aimed at helping communities across the Gulf Coast to more effectively understand, withstand, and overcome the multiple stressors brought on by such disasters. CRGC is led by the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute in partnership with researchers at the Department of Sociology at Louisiana State University (LSU); the ByWater Institute, the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA), and the Department of Computer Science at Tulane University; the Coastal Resource and Resilience Center (CRRC) at the University of South Alabama; and the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI). To learn more, download CRGC’s 2-Pager.


Our goal is to provide communities with solutions to build social, economic, and public health resilience to catastrophic oil spills. The outcomes we seek are interrelated:
  • An improved knowledge base about the ways the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has affected communities in the Gulf of Mexico region, and what factors enhance or diminish resilience after a spill or similar events.
  • Evidence-based strategic planning and risk communication strategies for specific communities in areas relatively more exposed to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  • Guidance for policymakers to identify specific actions that will mitigate future disaster impacts more effectively.

Objectives and Activities

The consortium draws on a mixed-methods approach that includes integrated qualitative and quantitative analyses. To learn more, download CRGC’s 2-Pager about its Adaptive Systems Approach.

Collaborating and Integrating Research and Outreach

We integrate research disciplines and join researchers and communities via a use-inspired, problem-focused, and iterative approach. CRGC collaborates closely with communities and policymakers to ensure its work develops information and decision-support tools directly relevant to building resilience to the accidental release of oil, other hydrocarbons, or related materials.

Assessing Impacts

We endeavor to close current knowledge gaps by estimating the medium- and long-term social, economic, and public health effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. CRGC will assess impacts via telephone and in-person surveys and economic modeling.

Improving Planning

We seek to build capacity for community action planning using data and findings with on-the-ground support from field teams, including community health workers, graduate and undergraduate students, and local organizations.

Educating Students and Communities

We provide training for graduate and undergraduate students to learn about innovative, cross-disciplinary research methods and best practices in community disaster risk resilience in the Gulf States.

Evaluating Progress

We are evaluating our own activities using metrics derived from an action-logic model. Periodic self-evaluation will provide a baseline against which CRGC can assess progress and improve planning and operations. To learn more about our activities, visit the Projects section of this site.

Technical Advisory Committee

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) provides scientific and technical guidance to the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities on measures related to developing community resilience in the Gulf Coast. They come to CRGC with a wealth of experience and content knowledge, which make them highly qualified for their advisory roles.
  • Luther Brewster is an assistant Professor, Chief of the Division of Policy and Community Development, and Community Director for Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELPTM with the Department of Humanities, Health, and Society at Florida International University.
  • Stephen Broomell is an assistant professor in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • David R Brown, MD is an associate professor, founding chief of the Division of Family Medicine, Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine, Family Medicine and Community Health, and founding Residency Program Director at Florida International University, one of the new millennium medical schools.
  • Adam Parris is an interdisciplinary expert who works on social and environmental change in US coastal zones. He currently serves as the Deputy Director of Climate Science and Risk Communication at the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency in New York.
  • Louie Rivers III is an assistant professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State University.
  • Ussif Rashid Sumaila is a professor and director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at UBC Fisheries Centre.

Stakeholder Advisory Committee

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) provides diverse perspectives on the environmental, health, social, economic, and cultural context in which CRGC activities are being implemented. Coming from each of the two states (Alabama and Louisiana) in which CRGC is working with local communities, SAC members represent diverse sectors and backgrounds, and provide feedback and recommendations about CRGC’s existing and planned activities.
  • Emily Blejwas is the Communications Coordinator at Gulf States Health Policy Center at Bayou Clinic in Bayou La Batre, AL.
  • Ida Mae Coleman is a City Council Member in Bayou La Batre, AL.
  • Sharon Gauthe is the Executive Director of Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing (BISCO) in Lafourche Parish, LA.
  • Latonia Harrison is the Clinic Director at Teche Action Clinic in Lafourche Parish, LA.
  • Danny Le is the Branch Manager in Biloxi, MS and Bayou La Batre, AL at Boat People SOS
  • Julie Olsen is the Executive Director of Plaquemines Community C.A.R.E. Centers Foundation in Plaquemines Parish, LA.
  • Dena Pigg is the Former President of the Bayou La Batre Area Chamber of Commerce in Bayou La Batre, AL.
  • Susan Stiegler is the Assistant Health Officer of the Mobile County Health Department.