Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Resilience of environment, infrastructure, communities, and governance in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and the need for community empowerment to develop decentralized, nature-based solutions to sustainability

Thomas L. Crisman, PhD, David Dumke, MA, Fernando I. Rivera, PhD, Liz Santiago-Pimentel, MS

Abstract


Collapse of electric and water infrastructure throughout Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria is well documented but assessment of interactions among environment, infrastructure, and society is lacking. A classification system is developed to assess the resilience of each component based on principles of ecosystem responses to long-term and unexpected environmental change. All infrastructure sectors have experienced long-term decline because of a patch and stabilize approach that excludes strengthen and innovate. Maria was the tipping point for system collapse. The weakest sector, however, is governance and an inability to change direction from traditional centralized, engineered approaches incapable of meeting current or projected changes in resource availability and societal needs. The two most resilient sectors are environment and human communities. Their strong interrelationship is key to developing decentralized, nature-based solutions to address immediate and projected threats to resiliency and sustainability of communities in Puerto Rico. Still in its infancy, community ownership of the water-energy-food Nexus shows a great promise for island.


Keywords


Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico, resilience, disaster management

Full Text:

PDF

References


Holling CS: Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annu Rev Ecol Syst. 1973; 4: 1-23.

Gunderson LH: Ecological resistance—In theory and application. Annu Rev Ecol Syst. 2000; 31: 425-439.

Crisman TL: Averting a total collapse: How is the water-food-energy nexus impacting ecological, social and political systems in the Middle East and North Africa? Cairo Rev Global Aff. 2020; 36: 49-55.

Winters ZS: Current and projected sustainability of the water-energy-food Nexus in Caribbean Small Island Developing States. MS Thesis. Tampa: University of South Florida, 2020.

Bessette-Kirton EK, Cerovski-Darriau C, Schulz WH, et al.: Landslides triggered by Hurricane Maria: Assessment of an extreme event in Puerto Rico. GSA Today. 2019; 29. DOI: 10.1130/GSATG383A.1.

Bessette-Kirton EK, Cole JA, Schulz WH, et al.: Mobility characteristics of debris slides and flows triggered by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Landslides. 2020; 17: 2795-2809.

Cerovski-Darriau C, Bessette-Kirton E, Schulz WH, et al.: Does geology matter? Post-Hurricane Maria landslide distribution across the mountainous regions of Puerto Rico, USA. In Abstract # NH34B-02, Fall Meeting 2017. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union, 2017.

Feng Y, Negron-Juarez RI, Patricola CM, et al.: Rapid remote sensing assessment of impacts from Hurricane Maria on forests of Puerto Rico. Peerj Preprints 26597v1, 2018. DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.26597v1.

Hall J, Muscarella R, Quebbeman A, et al.: Hurricane-induced rainfall is a stronger predictor of tropical Forest damage in Puerto Rico than maximum wind speeds. Sci Rep. 2020; 10: 4318.

Hu T, Smith RB: The impact of Hurricane Maria on the vegetation of Dominica and Puerto Rico using multispectral remote sensing. Remote Sens. 2018; 10: 827.

Feng Y, Negron-Juarez RI, Chambers JQ: Remote sensing and statistical analysis of the effects of Hurricane Maria on the forests of Puerto Rico. Remote Sens Environ. 2020; 247: 111940.

Miller PW, Kumar A, Mote TL, et al.: Persistent hydrological consequences of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Geophys Res Lett. 2019; 46: 1413-1422

Gellis A: The effects of Hurricane Hugo on suspended-sediment loads, Lago Loiza basin, Puerto Rico. Earth Surf. Processes and Landforms. 1993; 18: 505-517.

Grande A, Schmidt AH, Bierman PR, et al.: Landslides, hurricanes, and sediment sourcing impact basin-scale erosion estimates in Luquillo, Puerto Rico. Earth Planet Sci Lett. 2021; 562: 116821.

Lloyd JD, Rimmer CC, Salguero-Faria JA: Short-term effects of hurricanes Maria and Irma on forest birds of Puerto Rico. PLos ONE. 2019: 14(6): e0214432.

Gellis AC, Webb RMT, McIntyre SC, et al.: Land-use effects on erosion, sediment yields and reservoir sedimentation: A case study in the Lago Loize Basin, Puerto Rico. Phys Geogr. 2006; 27(1): 39-69.

Lopez T, Mitchell Aide T, Thomlinson JR: Urban expansion and the loss of prime agricultural lands in Puerto Rico. Ambio. 2001; 30(1): 49-54.

Carro-Figueroa V: Agricultural decline and food import dependency in Puerto Rico: A historical perspective on the outcomes of postwar farm and food policies. Caribbean Stud. 2002; 30(2): 77-107.

Felix G, Holt-Gimenez E: Hurricane Maria: An agroecological-turning point for Puerto Rico? Food First Backgr. 2017; 23(4): 4.

Gonzalez-Mejia AM, Ma X: The emergency perspective of sustainable trends in Puerto Rico from 1960 to 2013. Ecol Econ. 2017; 133: 11-22.

Gould WA, Wadsworth FH, Quinones M, et al.: Land use, conservation, forestry, and agriculture in Puerto Rico. Forests. 2017; 8: 242.

Rodriguez-Cruz LA, Niles MT: Awareness of climate change’s impacts and motivation to adapt are not enough to drive action: A look of Puerto Rican farmers after Hurricane Maria. PLoS One. 2021; 16: E0244512. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0244512.

American Society of Civil Engineers Puerto Rico Section (ASCEPR): Report card for Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, 2019: 61.

Aros-Vera F, Gillian S, Rehmar A, et al.: Increasing the resilience of critical infrastructure networks through the strategic location of microgrids: A case study of hurricane maria in Puerto Rico. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct. 2021; 55: 102055.

Shermeyer J: Assessment of electrical and infrastructure recovery in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria using multisource time series of satellite imagery. Proc Int Soc Opt Photon. 2018; 1079010. DOI: 10.1117/12.2325585.

Kwasinski A, Andrade F, Castro-Sitiriche MJ, et al.: Hurricane Maria effects on Puerto Rico electric power infrastructure. IEEE Power Energy Technol Syst J. 2019; 6(1): 85-94.

Roman MO, Stokes EC, Shrestha R, et al.: Satellite-based assessment of electricity restoration efforts in Puerto Rico after hurricane maria. PLoS One. 2019; 14(6): e0218883.

Knapp KR, Kruk MC, Levinson DH, et al.: The international best track archive for climate stewardship (IBTrACS): Unifying tropical cyclone best track data. Bull Am Meteor Soc. 2010; 91: 363-376.

Knapp KR, Diamond HJ, Kossin JP, et al.: International best track archive for climate stewardship (IBTrACS) project, version 4. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. 2018. DOI: 10.25921/82ty-9e16.

Kwasinski A: Effects of Hurricane Maria on renewable energy systems in Puerto Rico. In 7th International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Applications, 2018: 383-390.

Massol-Deya A, Stephens JC, Colon JL: Renewable energy for Puerto Rico. Science. 2018; 362(6410): 7.

O’Neill-Carrillo E, Rivera-Quinones MA: Energy policies in Puerto Rico and their impact on the likelihood of a resilient and sustainable electric power infrastructure. Centro J. 2018; 30(3): 147-171.

Zayas JO, Quinones F, Silvana Palacios PE, et al.: Caracteristicas y Condicion de Los Embalses Principales en Puerto Rico. Departamento de Recurcos Naturales y Ambientales, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, 2004: 191.

Gellis AC: Factors influencing storm-generated suspended-sediment concentrations and loads in four basins of contrasting land use, humid-tropical Puerto Rico. Catena. 2013; 104: 39-57.

Yuan YY, Jiang EV, Taguas EG, et al.: Sediment loss and its cause in Puerto Rico watersheds. Soil. 2015; 1: 595-602.

Neal JW, Haley BM, Moran ZS: Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico: Effects on reservoir water quality and fish community structure and resilience. J Southeastern Assoc Fish Wildlife Agen. 2020; 7: 123-133.

Lin Y, Sevillano-Rivera N, Jiang T, et al.: Impact of Hurricane Maria on drinking water quality in Puerto Rico. Environ Sci Technol. 2020; 54: 9495-9509.

Hunter JM, Arbona SI: Paradise lost: An introduction to the geography of water pollution in Puerto Rico. Soc Sci Med. 1995; 40(10): 1331-1355.

Koks EE, Rozenberg J, Zorn C, et al.: A global multi-hazard risk analysis of road and railway infrastructure assets. Nat Commun. 2019; 10: 2677.

Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority (PRHTA): 2028 Puerto Rico Transportation Asset Management Plan. 2019: 302.

Berrios Soto C: Analysis of estimated scour vs inspected scour on a bridge after Hurricane Maria, and their impact on the Puerto Rico bridge program. Guidelines for the design project article. 2018. Available at prcrepository.org.

Valle A: Puerto Rico Se Levanta!: Hurricane María and Narratives of Struggle, Resilience, and Migration. Natural Hazards Center Quick Response Grant Report Series, 279. Boulder, CO: Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado Boulder, 2018. Available at https://hazards.colorado.edu/quick-response-report/puerto-rico-se-levanta-hurricane-maria-and-narratives-of-struggleresilience-and-migration. Accessed May 10, 2021.

Ficek RE: Infrastructure and colonial difference in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María. Transf Anthropol. 2018; 26(2): 102-117.

Kapucu N, Rivera FI: Rural resilience: Disaster preparedness for communities off the beaten path. Research counts. 2019. Available at https://hazards.colorado.edu/news/research-counts/rural-resilience-disaster-preparedness-for-communities-off-thebeaten-path. Accessed May 10, 2021.

Rivera FI, Kapucu N, Hawkins C: Rural community disaster resiliency: Self-organizing collective action among farmworkers in Central Florida. Int J Mass Emerg Disasters. 2015; 33(2): 213-227.

Roque AD, Pijawka D, Wutich A: The role of social capital in resiliency: Disaster recovery in Puerto Rico. Risks Hazards Crisis Public Policy. 2020; 11(2): 204-235.

Garcia I, Chandrasekhar D: Impact of Hurricane María to the civic sector: A profile of non-profits in Puerto Rico. Centro J. 2020; 32(3): 67-88.

Mayol-García YH, Santos-Lozada AR, Rivera DJ: Ayuda provista por las comunidades Religiosas en Puerto Rico después de los Huracanes Irma y María. Reporte auspiciado por el Seminario Evangélivo de Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR, 2019.

Yabe T, Rao PSC, Ukkusuri SV: Regional differences in resilience of social and physical systems: Case study of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Environ Plann B Urban Anal City Sci. 2021; 48(5): 1042-1057.

Garrett RS: Political status of Puerto Rico: Brief background and recent developments for congress. Congressional research service. 2017. Available at https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R44721. Accessed May 1, 2021.

Pico F: History of Puerto Rico: A Panorama of Its People. Princeton, NJ: Markus Weiner Publishers, 2006.

Dinzey-Flores Z: The development paradox. NACLA Rep Am. 2018; 50(2): 163-169. DOI: 10.1080/10714839.2018.1479479.

Chandra A, Abir M, Madrigano J, et al.: Health and social services in Puerto Rico before and after Hurricane Maria. Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center. 2020. Available at https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2603.html. Accessed May 1, 2021.

Austin DA: Puerto Rico’s public debt: Accumulation and restructuring. Congressional research service. 2021. Available at https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46788. Accessed May 1, 2021.

Fischbach J, May LW, Whipkey K, et al.: After Hurricane Maria: Predisaster conditions, hurricane damage, and recovery needs in Puerto Rico. Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center. 2020. Available at https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2595.html. Accessed May 1, 2021.

Rosas E: Assessing the impact of municipal government capacity on recovery from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct. 2021; 61: 102340. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102340.

Blas Nunez-Neto B, Lauland A, Aguirre J: Beyond recovery: Transforming Puerto Rico’s water sector in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center. 2020. Available at https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2604.html. Accessed May 1, 2021.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Emergency Management