We are exploring
changes in the health and well-being of residents as they relate to changes in environmental
health and the provision of ecosystem services. To do this we are developing a method
that will use indicators which were identified in collaboration with other federal,
state and academic programs. These will help us understand the links between the
general health and well-being of communities and changing environmental conditions.
We are focusing on coastal counties directly affected by oil contaminated shorelines,
as well as a selection of comparison counties.
This project will help local officials protect communities before the disaster and
assist in recovery efforts afterwards. By establishing a way of monitoring changes
in well-being around these hazards, we will be better able to assess the social
impacts of environmental disasters and changing conditions, from oil spills and
hurricanes to decreasing water quality and changing shorelines.
This project will improve monitoring of the well-being of the counties affected
by Deepwater Horizon, and will improve our understanding of the impacts of such
hazards on the basic needs, health, economies, and social structure of coastal communities.
The results of a workshop to consider indicators for this project are now available
in the NOAA technical memorandum, Prioritizing County-Level Well-Being: Moving Toward Assessment of
Gulf Coast Counties Impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Industrial Disaster.