There are many connections between human communities and their surrounding environments that influence community resilience and health in the Gulf of Mexico. The impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf communities and ecosystems - coupled with the region's preexisting health challenges and environmental stressors - illustrate the need to better understand these connections. In the future, natural and man-made disasters, climate change impacts, and other environmental stressors will present complex challenges to the physical, mental, and social well-being of communities in the Gulf. Understanding the interrelationships among health, ecological, and economic impacts of disasters and other environmental stressors will be crucial to addressing these challenges.
Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Community Resilience and Health summarizes a Gulf Research Program workshop held on September 22-23, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The workshop examined opportunities to improve the health, well-being, and resilience of communities in the Gulf region through discussions with about 50 participants with diverse expertise and experience. These discussions identified perceived needs, challenges, and opportunities that align with the Gulf Research Program's mission and goals - particularly its goal to improve understanding of the connections between human health and the environment to support the development of health and resilient Gulf communities. This workshop is expected to lead to the development of additional Program activities and opportunities for the research community.
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