Public Input and Outreach
Tapping into Local Knowledge
The St. Marys Flood Resiliency Plan will be created by combining academic expertise with the insights and experiences of those working and living in St. Marys. What has been affected by flooding and sea level rise? What are fears for the future? What is a priority to protect in St. Marys? Through public meetings and in-depth discussions with key stakeholders, the project team will gather information to help St. Marys analyze how vulnerable it is to natural disasters and how prepared it is to respond to such events, as well as explore what measures could be taken to improve responses and reduce possible damages. The aim is to paint a clear picture of how the community is currently prepared, in case of an emergency, and establish what can be done to improve and reduce risks. This process encourages long-lasting planning and can help a community become more resilient.
Who is involved?
Throughout the planning process, there will be public meetings, such as seminars or town hall events, to share information learned in the project and obtain feedback from the community. Additionally, the project team will be administering interviews and facilitating in-depth discussions, known as Vulnerability-Consequence Adaptation Planning Scenarios (VCAPS), with decision-makers, departmental staff and key stakeholders that are directly involved with planning and carrying out responses in the event of natural disasters. This dialogue endeavors to capture the existing experience and knowledge to examine how vulnerable St. Marys is and what problems it has been faced with in the past. The data collected will then enable the St. Marys Planning Team to better comprehend the issues at hand and develop a plan that will allow different administrative departments in the City to work in a coordinated manner, allowing personnel to efficiently respond when faced with a natural disaster.
- Gather information and summarize existing community knowledge and experience.
- Stimulate discussion and preparedness for managing and reducing risks.
- Create a plan for future decision-making, tackling existing response gaps.
Sea Grant Town Hall Meeting on March 19, 2014
On March 19, 2014, in the Theater By The Trax, St. Marys residents and municipal leaders attended a Sea Grant Town Hall Meeting to learn about the development of a flood resiliency plan for St. Marys and share feedback on issues related to flooding, sea level rise and storm surges at a Sea Grant Town Hall.
The public meeting included summaries of the plan by researchers from Georgia Sea Grant, the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and Marine Extension, public service and outreach units at the University of Georgia. Experts from North Carolina Sea Grant provided information on the process that the project will follow.
Participants had the opportunity to ask questions, provided input on the plan’s development and made comments. Speakers at the meeting included Chuck Hopkinson, Director of Georgia Sea Grant; Kelly Spratt, Local Outreach Coordinator for Georgia Sea Grant and UGA Marine Extension, and Jessica Whitehead, Coastal Communities Hazards Adaptation Specialist from North Carolina Sea Grant.