HARC Releases Equity Informed Climate Resilience Plan for Port Arthur

HARC Announcement


HARC, in partnership with Community In-Power and Development Association (CIDA), is pleased to announce the release of the Equity Informed Climate Resilience Plan in Port Arthur, Texas (EQUIPA PA). Supported by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under award number 2000013193, EQUIP PA uses an equity-centered approach in the development of a stakeholder-led resilience plan that addresses environmental and public health issues faced by Port Arthur residents.

Located on the Texas Gulf Coast, Port Arthur has a history of enduring extreme weather events such as hurricanes and floods, impacting its social vulnerability and economic disparities. Residents face elevated risks due to their proximity to industrial sites, experiencing poor air quality and health risks which exceed national averages. These challenges compound other persistent issues such as poverty, a high energy burden, inadequate housing, and disparities in healthcare access, leading to a significant impact on residents’ physical and mental well-being. Despite these challenges, Port Arthur residents have a strong sense of culture and connectedness to their community and their way of life. They find strength in that connection and are determined to work together to find the right solutions to the challenges they face.

EQUIP PA incorporates data analysis, community input and feedback, and recommendations from resilience practitioners to visualize and prepare for Port Arthur’s future risks. As a result, EQUIP PA is a community-led, climate data driven, and equity-informed resilience plan. By prioritizing stakeholder inclusion, equity, long-term preparedness, robust communication, and sustainability integration, EQUIP PA endeavors to become an all-encompassing guide for disaster recovery and community resilience in Port Arthur, and a guide for other Gulf Coast communities.

The plan’s recommendations highlight several focal points for implementation in Port Arthur, including:

  • emphasizing equity in climate resilience planning;
  • supporting individuals with preparedness and recovery efforts;
  • facilitating effective communication among different levels of government;
  • seeking diverse funding sources;
  • practicing continuous improvement;
  • prioritizing resilient construction practices;
  • addressing 500-year flood zones;
  • integrating climate change projections into planning;
  • prioritizing Nature-Based Solutions;
  • upgrading drainage systems;
  • enhancing job placement and training; and
  • utilizing varied communication channels for community engagement.

The plan’s recommendations provide a blueprint for other communities seeking similar initiatives.

Read the full plan here. Read the Executive Summary of the plan here.

To learn more about the planning process for developing EQUIP PA and for additional resources, click here.

To learn more about HARC’s work in climate equity and community resilience, click here.