Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — State of Louisiana: Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE)
Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE) is a community-based planning and capital investment process that will help the state fund and implement several projects, including for managed retreat, to make its coasts more resilient. In 2016, Louisiana’s Office for Community Development–Disaster Recovery Unit received a nearly $40 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the National Disaster Resilience Competition and additional state and nongovernmental funds to implement LA SAFE. The grant will support the design and implementation of resilience projects to address impacts in six coastal parishes that were affected by Hurricane Isaac in 2012 (Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, and Terrebonne). The state partnered with the nonprofit Foundation for Louisiana to administer LA SAFE and facilitate an extensive, year-long community engagement process that will result in implementation of ten funded projects across the six parishes. LA SAFE adopts a regional approach to addressing coastal flood risk; projects are designed to address risk and resilience across multiple sectors (e.g., housing, transportation, infrastructure, economic development), and to advance adaptation projects to achieve different risk-based goals (e.g., reshape development in low risk areas that will receive populations migrating from coastal areas, retrofit development in moderate risk areas to accommodate increasing flood risk, and resettle people in high flood risk areas losing land and population). By contemplating a regional, rather than a parish-specific, approach to addressing coastal risk, LA SAFE provides a model that other states and local governments may consider when making long-term adaptation and resilience investments, including for managed retreat.
This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies. Each case study tells a different story about how states, local governments, and communities across the country are approaching questions about managed retreat. Together, the case studies highlight how different types of legal and policy tools are being considered and implemented across a range of jurisdictions — from urban, suburban, and rural to riverine and coastal — to help support new and ongoing discussions on the subject. These case studies are intended to provide transferable lessons and potential management practices for coastal state and local policymakers evaluating managed retreat as one part of a strategy to adapt to climate change on the coast.
For additional case studies and more information about managed retreat, also see Georgetown Climate Center's Managed Retreat Toolkit.
Publication Date: July 15, 2020
- Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE) Adaptation Strategies
- Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies
- HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition
- Managed Retreat Toolkit > Crosscutting Legal Considerations > Governance
- Managed Retreat Toolkit > Planning Tools > Plans
- Managed Retreat Toolkit > Crosscutting Policy Considerations > Economic: Funding
- Managed Retreat Toolkit > Crosscutting Policy Considerations > Social/Equity: Community Engagement and Equity
- Managed Retreat Toolkit > Crosscutting Policy Considerations > Social/Equity: Receiving Communities
- Emergency preparedness
- Land management and conservation
- Land use and built environment
- Frontline Communities
- Best practice
- Case study
- Education/training materials
- Policy analysis/recommendations