Avoiding Disasters Conference Recap:
Nearly 150 people attended the two-day SSPEED Conference, "Avoiding Disasters: How to Reduce the Impacts from the Next Big Storm" hosted at Rice University in late April. The attendants ranged from academics, to community leaders, environmentalists, engineers, concerned citizens and members of the media.
On Day One, keynote speakers included Rice University's John Anderson, TU Delft's Bas Jonkman and AECOM's Jim Thompson on sea level rise, international approaches to storm surge protection, and the feasibility of protecting the Upper Texas Coast, respectively. Throughout the course of the day, components of the Coastal Spine were discussed, outlining the multiple lines of defense that would be employed to protect the region.
Day Two of the conference primarily discussed the non-structural strategies to storm surge protection with a focus on the development of the Texas Coastal Exchange, a concept rooted in the creation of an economy around buying and selling ecosystem and carbon sequestration services in the Upper Texas Coast based on land management practices that maintain, restore or create low-lying marshes, prairies, and bottomlands. The keynote speakers included former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett and Tom Campbell of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
Overall, the conference was a success and the SSPEED Center will use the momentum from the conference to continue our work to protect the Houston- Galveston region.
Keynote Speaker John Anderson gives remarks to SSPEED Conference.
TU Delft's Bas Jonkman presenting to SSPEED Conference.