Understanding the Notion between Resiliency and Recovery through a Spatial-Temporal Analysis of Section 404 Wetland Alteration Permits before and after Hurricane Ike
Historically, wetlands in the United States have been lost due to agriculture, anthropogenic activities, and rapid urbanization along the coast. Such losses of wetlands have resulted in high flooding risk for coastal communities over the period of time. In addition, alteration of wetlands via the Section 404 Clean Water Act permits can increase the flooding risk to future hurricane events, as the cumulative impact of this program is poorly understood and under-accounted. Further, recovery after hurricane events is acting as an encouragement for new development and reconstruction activities by converting wetlands under the wetland alteration permitting program. This study investigates the degree to which hurricane recovery activities in coastal communities are undermining the ability of these places to absorb the impacts of future storm events. Specifically, this work explores how and to what extent wetlands are being affected by the federal permitting program post-Hurricane Ike in 2008. Wetland alteration patterns are examined across three counties (Harris, Galveston, and Chambers County) along the Texas Gulf Coast over a 10-year time period, from 2004-2013 (five years before and after Hurricane Ike) by conducting descriptive spatial analyses. Results indicate that after Hurricane Ike, the number of permits substantially increased in Harris and Chambers County. The vast majority of individual and nationwide type permits were issued within the 100-year floodplain, storm surge zones, and areas damaged by Ike flooding, suggesting that recovery after the hurricane is compromising the ecological resiliency on which coastal communities depend. The authors expect that the findings of this study can increase awareness to policy makers and hazard mitigation planners regarding how to manage wetlands during a long-term recovery process to maintain their natural functions for future flood mitigation.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1131091Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 497
 Brody, S. D., Highfield, W. E., Ryu, H. C., & Spanel-Weber, L. (2007). Examining the relationship between wetland alteration and watershed flooding in Texas and Florida. Natural Hazards, 40(2), 413-428.
 Brody, S. D. Zahran, S. Highfield, W. E. Grover, H. and Vedlitz. A. (2007). Identifying the impact of the built environment on flood damage in Texas. Disasters. 32 (1). pp 1-18.
 Brody, S. D., Davis, S. E., Highfield, W. E., & Bernhardt, S. P. (2008). A spatial-temporal analysis of section 404 wetland permitting in Texas and Florida: Thirteen years of impact along the coast. Wetlands, 28(1), 107-116.
 Brody, S. D., Highfield, W. E., & Blessing, R. (2015). An Analysis of the Effects of Land Use and Land Cover on Flood Losses along the Gulf of Mexico Coast from 1999 to 2009. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 51(6), 1556-1567.
 Brody, S. D., Bernhardt, S. P., Zahran, S., & Kang, J. E. (2009). Evaluating local flood mitigation strategies in Texas and Florida. Built Environment (1978-), 492-515.
 Brody, S. D. (2014). The Role of Natural Functions in Shaping Community Resiliency to Floods. In Disaster and Development (pp. 201-212). Springer International Publishing.
 Conservation, Louisiana Coastal Wetlands, Restoration Task Force, Wetlands Conservation, and Restoration Authority. "Coast 2050: Toward a sustainable coastal Louisiana." Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (1998). Retrieved from http://www.coast2050.gov/products/docs/orig/2050report.pdf.
 Gonzalez, L. A. Jacob, J. S. Kinney, E. A. Neish, B. S. & Davanon, R. M. (2014). Galveston Bay Wetland Mitigation Assessment and Local Government Capacity Building. Texas Land Office, Land Management Program.
 Highfield, W. E., & Brody, S. D. (2006). Price of permits: Measuring the economic impacts of wetland development on flood damages in Florida. Natural Hazards Review, 7(3), 123-130.
 Highfield, W. E. (2012). Section 404 Permitting in Coastal Texas: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Relationship between Peak Streamflow and Wetland Alteration. Environmental Management, 49(4), 892-901.
 Jacob, J. S., Pandian, K., Lopez, R. and Biggs, H. (2014) US Houston Area Freshwater Wetland Loss, 1992-2010.Texas AgriLife Extension Service ERPT-002; Texas Sea Grant TAMU-SG-14-303. (Detailed report).
 Kates, R. W., Colten, C. E., Laska, S., & Leatherman, S. P. (2006). Reconstruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina: a research perspective. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(40), 14653-14660.
 Kentula, M. E., Sifneos, J. C., Good, J. W., Rylko, M., & Kunz, K. (1992). Trends and patterns in Section 404 permitting requiring compensatory mitigation in Oregon and Washington, USA. Environmental Management, 16(1), 109-119.
 Kelly, N. M. (2001). Changes to the landscape pattern of coastal North Carolina wetlands under the Clean Water Act, 1984–1992. Landscape Ecology, 16(1), 3-16.
 Mitsch, W. J., & Gosselink, J. G. (2000). The value of wetlands: importance of scale and landscape setting. Ecological Economics, 35(1), 25-33.
 Owen, C. R., & Jacobs, H. M. (1992). Wetland protection as land-use planning: the impact of section 404 in Wisconsin, USA. Environmental Management, 16(3), 345-353.
 Paul, M. J. and J. L. Meyer (2001) ‘Streams in the Urban Landscape’. Annual Review of Ecological Systems. 32. pp. 333–365.
 Sifneos, J. C., Cake, E. W., & Kentula, M. E. (1992). Effects of Section 404 permitting on freshwater wetlands in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. Wetlands, 12(1), 28-36.
 Sutton-Grier, A. E., Wowk, K., & Bamford, H. (2015). Future of our coasts: the potential for natural and hybrid infrastructure to enhance the resilience of our coastal communities, economies and ecosystems. Environmental Science & Policy, 51, 137-148.
 Tiner Jr., R. W. (1984). Wetlands of the United States: current status and recent trends. United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
 USGS (United States Geological Survey). (1996). National Water Summary on Wetland Resources. USGS Water-Supply Paper 2425. Washington, DC, USA.
 Zedler, J. B., & Kercher, S. (2005). Wetland resources: status, trends, ecosystem services, and restorability. Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour., 30, 39-74.
 Levine, N. (2015). CrimeStat: A Spatial Statistics Program for the Analysis of Crime Incident Locations (v 4.02). Ned Levine & Associates, Houston, Texas, and the National Institute of Justice, Washington, D.C. August.