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Resilience: Examining The Impacts Of The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill On The Gulf Coast Vietnamese American Community

Megha Patel, Leia Saltzman, Regardt Ferreira, Amy Lesen

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The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWH) was one of the largest hydrocarbon disasters in US history. The estimated 5 million barrels of oil that poured into the Gulf of Mexico had a devastating impact on the natural environment, as well as on the livelihoods of communities residing along the coastal region. This paper explores resilience in individuals that identify as Vietnamese, presenting findings from a study of three Gulf Coast communities impacted by the DWH oil spill. A 60-min, in-person survey was administered to a total of 326 residents from the Gulf Coast communities of Port Sulphur, LA, Galliano, LA, and Bayou La Batre, AL. Logistic regression outcome and key predictors models were used to determine the probability of having higher levels of resilience. The results of this study highlight the role of age, education, and racial/ethnic identification in fostering resilience following disaster exposure. Identifying as Vietnamese was associated with a decrease in the odds of achieving above-threshold levels of resilience. This study may be viewed as the foundation from which to further explore the unique risk and protective profiles of the Vietnamese population, particularly in regard to those residing in critically vulnerable and disaster-prone areas.