In Houston, Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters displaced tens of thousands of residents, flooded more than 70 toxic sites and led to the release of hundreds of thousands of gallons of pollutants. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Gulf Restoration Network and partners flew over Houston and other impacted areas in Texas and Louisiana documenting some of these pollution events (pictures here and here).
As the floodwaters receded and people began to pick up the pieces, a new collaboration – the Coalition for Environment, Equity, and Resilience or CEER – was formed with a focus on raising awareness of the connection between pollution, place and the public’s health.
Gulf Restoration Network is proud to be a member of this coalition that “aims to drive community voices into the post-Hurricane Harvey decision-making process to promote equity and resilience by emphasizing land, water, air, waste, and housing policies that reduce human exposure to pollution and strengthen environmental conservation.”
As we saw after Hurricane Katrina and the BP blowout, major disasters often expose deep-seated issues that can and should be corrected during recovery. Hurricane Harvey has exposed long-standing problems in Houston and other communities when it comes to structural inequities and how we protect our communities from pollution. The 20+ members of CEER recently drafted an Eight Point Plan to help drive post-Harvey restoration and recovery. It’s going to be a long road to recovery, but we’re happy to be part of this amazing coalition of dedicated organizations and people who are committed to promoting a more environmentally equitable and resilient Houston.
Read more about CEER in this recent piece that members of the coalition wrote for the Houston Chronicle.