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Community Resilience and Oil Spills in Coastal Louisiana

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Colten, Craig E.; Hay, Jenny; Giancarlo, Alexandra
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 17
Date: 2012
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8572
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Social Organization
Region: North America
Subject(s): resilience
oil industry
natural disasters
Abstract: "The persistence of communities along Louisiana’s coast, despite centuries of natural and technological hazard events, suggests an enduring resilience. This paper employs a comparative historical analysis to examine 'inherent resilience,' i.e., practices that natural resource-dependent residents deploy to cope with disruptions and that are retained in their collective memory. The analysis classifies activities taken in advance of and following a series of oil spills within Wilbanks’ four elements of community resilience: anticipation, reduced vulnerability, response, and recovery. Comparing local inherent resilience to formal government and corporate resilience enables the identification of strengths and weaknesses of these different categories of resilience. It also helps answer the questions: What forms of inherent resilience capacity existed prior to the formulation of formal contingency plans? How have communities drawn upon their own capabilities to survive without the infusion of massive external assistance? Have externally managed contingency planning procedures integrated or bypassed inherent resilience?"

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