St. Bernard Parish Coastal Zone Management Program

This document updates the Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP) of St. Bernard Parish, outlining a plan to guide coastal development with restoration and protection, incorporating sea level rise planning for the Parish. The original CZMP was created in 1982 and has been a working program since its official approval in 1987. The program is subject to two year periodic review by the Louisiana Office of Coastal Management. 

The land of St. Bernard Parish is susceptible to change from many natural and anthropogenic forces: drainage, canal building, hurricane protection levees, land erosion, subsidence, and storms. Sea level rise exacerbates many of these existing vulnerabilities; land subsidence in Louisiana increases the rate of relative sea level rise. Coastal wetlands and waters provide physical and economic protection to the St. Bernard Parish community; they protect the developed areas and levee system from storm surges and flooding, as well as provide a habitat for economically important wildlife such as fish, oysters, shrimp, and crabs.

The program includes 22 updated goals, including enhancing wetland functions, reducing coastal erosion, and reducing saltwater intrusion. Updated policies of the CZMP largely center on enhancing resilience of wetlands to erosion, including:

  • Support beneficial use of dredged material to create wetlands, barrier islands, and beaches, where practicable;
  • Support actions to restore and/or maintain barrier islands;
  • Support and encourage wetland management and restoration projects implemented by private landowners;
  • Support state and federal wetland management and restoration projects in designated wildlife management areas; and
  • maintain wetlands in their natural condition and to restore, when possible, those areas that have deteriorated due to natural and human-induced actions.

The update of the CZMP was funded by the Coastal Impacts Assistance Program.This community plan reflects resiliency measures through the support of the Louisiana Resiliency Assistance Program (LRAP). St. Bernard Parish is one of 30 Louisiana communities funded by the program, all of which are assisted by the Louisiana State University’s Coastal Sustainability Studio. LRAP is designed to collect, develop, house, and disseminate current planning efforts, resources, and local best practices to promote, assist and build networks around resiliency planning in Louisiana.

St. Bernard Parish updated the plan starting in 2009 based on post-Hurricane Katrina physical and socio-economic conditions. The document is in compliance with the Louisiana State and Local Coastal Resources Management Act of 1978, which contains the mechanism and much of the guidance for program development. After it received federal and state approval, St. Bernard Parish became the permitting authority for coastal uses that directly and significantly affect coastal waters and are in need of coastal management but are not uses of state concern and which should be regulated primarily at the local level if the local government has an approved program" (RS. 49:214.25.A.2). The CZMP is administered and implemented by the parish Department of Community Development through the Office of Coastal Zone Management. 

 

 

 

Publication Date: 2012

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