Community Planning for Hazards workshop slated for June 4-5 in La Marque

“Community Planning for Hazards: Training for Local Officials” is slated for June 4-5 in La Marque. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

LA MARQUE – The Texas Citizen Planner initiative will present the Community Planning for Hazards: Training for Local Officials workshop June 4-5 in La Marque.

The workshop will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on June 4 and from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 5 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Galveston County, 4102-B Main St. in Carbide Park.

Registration is open for this program, which is designed to help local elected officials and municipal staff learn about the connections between good planning, hazard mitigation and environmental stewardship through first-person perspectives and case study examples from Texas.

Cost is $79 and includes presentation materials and lunch. Space is limited, and group rates are available.

To register, go to https://citizenplanner.tamu.edu/registration/.

“Texas Citizen Planner is an innovative program for community leaders to learn about integrating hazard mitigation approaches with local planning practices,” said Steven Mikulencak, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist with the Texas Community Watershed Partners. “The art of good planning is about injecting long-term considerations into near-term actions.”

Mikulencak said communities that integrate hazard mitigation principles and factor long-term risks into their existing plans stand to make their communities more resilient and less prone to disasters.

“These courses will give municipal or elected and appointed officials and staff members the knowledge to shape community development for the better,” he said. “The courses are designed specifically for municipal officials, but registration is also open to the general public.”

On June 4, attendees will hear first-person perspectives about strategic approaches other Texas communities have used to link risk management with their ongoing community planning and vision. Speakers and presentations on that day will include:

  • Mike Babin, education/oversight specialist, Windstorm Inspection Program, Texas Department of Insurance.
  • Matt Festa, professor of law, South Texas College of Law Houston.
  • David Jackson, state hazard mitigation officer, Mitigation Section administrator, Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Public Safety.
  • Dr. Earthea Nance, associate professor, Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Texas Southern University.
  • Texas General Land Office mitigation funding discussion, lunch presentation.

On June 5, participants will collaborate over a live table-top interface and use local mapping data to plan hypothetical growth scenarios. Real-time feedback will allow participants to see the consequences of their planning decisions.

Participants in CHARM activity on Texas Gulf Coast. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Yu Wen Chou)

“The planning support tool, Community Health and Resource Management, or CHARM, encourages collaborative problem solving and no GIS experience is needed,” Mikulencak said. “Attending the CHARM portion of the workshop is necessary in order to receive a certificate of completion.”

This project is funded in part by a Texas Coastal Management Program Grant approved by the Texas Land Commissioner pursuant to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award.

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Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu

Contacts: Steven Mikulencak.281-984-7085, smikulencak@tamu.edu

Celina Gauthier Lowry, 281-560-3970, celina.lowry@tamu.edu

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