We finally heard back from the EPA’s P3 [People, Prosperity, and Planet] Request for Proposals and sadly, they rejected our grant application. The reason – too ambitious and infeasible for the allocated grant money. Well, they are right. We had submitted a proposal suggesting developing a sustainable model to rebuild Southern Louisiana by seeking to analyze risk perceptions and economic necessities of residents that force them to make unsustainable choices.
On the flip side, it is not entirely lost. We can always choose to divide up our proposal and resubmit to other funding organizations or just modify this and send it off to a larger funding organization. In lieu of Katrina hurricane, we found our proposal quite timely and had managed to keep the scope of the project broad enough to warrant adequate examination of the research issues involved. Restricting ourselves to a particular region of Louisiana or just to media-popular New Orleans would have led us to ignore correlational factors that influence every move in the southern state.
Climate change data has shown how everything is interrelated and a little bit of tweaking elsewhere can have larger implications often unintended elsewhere. Developing a sustainable model for Louisiana (and New Orleans) cannot be a piecemeal project but has to encapsulate the larger region. This may not have been possible within the parameters of the P3 Project but hopefully, the EPA takes this issue seriously enough to allot more funds for such a study.