Report: In the Wake of the Storm: Environment, Disaster, and Race After Katrina

This interdisciplinary report, written by professors from around the country, illuminates the environmental justice implications of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The researchers focus on race disparities and linkages to environmental quality in the US, and the ways in which these disparities influence the preparation and relief efforts: before, during, and after a disaster. They provide positive examples of cities that prioritized development for poorer citizens during post-disaster reconstruction.

The report concludes with a simple but profound statement, “Yet by allowing the weak link in the social chain—the poorest communities in the low-lying areas of the city—to be exposed, all of New Orleans was put at risk. By failing to value fenceline lives and communities, the risks rise for neighborhoods far from the first releases from a chemical incident.”

In the Wake of the Storm: Environment, Disaster, and Race After Katrina
By Manuel Pastor, Robert Bullard, James Boyce, Alice Fothergill, Rachel Morello-Frosch, and Beverly Wright. Supported by the Russell Sage Foundation.
http://www.russellsage.org/news/060515.528528