Resilient Marinas Make Resilient Working Waterfronts

The economic impacts of marinas on the American Shoreline.

On this episode of the Working Waterfronts Podcast we turn our attention to Marinas. For Marinas all over the country directly exposed to intense  storms, flooding, and land loss, being resilient means being able to reduce damage and resume business. There is a growing trend of stronger storms, accelerated erosion, record floods and longer droughts that create a lot of issues for coastal communities. Marinas are on the fronts lines, but this means that they can be the leaders in the face of a changing climate and rising sea levels. On this show, we are going to hear from three amazing professionals that work with communities on the coast to help them build more capacity to be resilient to a changing climate. The regions we will be exploring are the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico- two vastly different regions at first glance. But also very similar in the issues they are dealing with and the strategies that are being implemented to combat them. Today, host Ashley Bennis will be sitting down with Sarah Orlando, Clean Marinas Program Manager with Ohio Sea Grant, located off of Lake Erie; Jody Thompson, the Environmental Extension Associate at MS-Al Sea Grant, A multi-state collaboration; and, Rhonda Price, the Deputy Director at the Office of Restoration and Resilience in the MS Department of Marine Resources. Rhonda has served as part of the Coastal Resilience Team at the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, a partnership that was created among all five of the Gulf states to increase regional collaboration on the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico. This show is sponsored by the National Working Waterfront Network.

Ashley Bennis

Ashley Bennis is a Michigan native that grew up in Metro Detroit and received her Bacherlors of Art from Wayne State University. Bennis began volunteering with nonprofits in the city and became very involved in the community revitalization happening there through coordinated public outreach and education efforts. She earned her master’s degree in Urban Design and Planning with a specialty in Environmental Planning from the University of Washington in 2016. While there she worked as a Research Assistant with the Institute for Hazard Mitigation, Planning and Research, an interdisciplinary team focused on helping communities plan for hazard events. The purpose of her project was to improve visual representations of FEMA’s revised floodplain maps to help with their usefulness and effectiveness for residents in flood prone areas. In the winter of 2018, she joined Texas Sea Grant as a planning specialist with the Community Resilience Collaborative, a partnership of Texas Sea Grant and the Texas Target Communities program in Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture. Her primary responsibility is to provide technical assistance to Coastal Bend and Rio Grande Valley coastal communities in land use planning and hazard mitigation.