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Overview of Selected Parishes’ Freeboard, Fill, and Open Space Rules and Projects within Louisiana’s Region Seven Watershed

May 18, 2022

As coastal erosion and the threat of major hurricanes and other flooding events continue to threaten Louisiana, parishes have begun to adopt jurisdiction-specific approaches to mitigating those risks. The establishment of freeboard requirements, no-net fill practices, and the incorporation of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), such as open spaces and native vegetation, are three major ways to prepare for and mitigate flooding. This brief entry provides a non-exhaustive overview of some of the ways five Louisiana parishes are using these approaches: Ascension, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Critical Infrastructure at Risk: Sea Level Rise Planning Guidance for California’s Coastal Zone

August 2021

In August 2021, the California Coastal Commission (CCC), one of California’s three coastal management agencies, issued the Critical Infrastructure at Risk: Sea Level Rise Planning Guidance for California’s Coastal Zone. The guidance serves as an advisory document for the state and local governments, asset managers, and stakeholders in California to update plans and policies for critical transportation and water infrastructure to adapt to sea-level rise and flooding.  The guidance is based on different studies held to be the best available science on sea-level rise in California, which includes a projection of a 6-10 feet of sea-level rise by 2100.

Related Organizations: California Coastal Commission

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Hawaii Act 179 (Senate Bill 474): Relating to Real Property Transactions

July 2, 2021

On July 2, 2021, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed into law Act 179 (Senate Bill 474), which requires that sellers of real estate located in areas at risk of sea-level rise disclose this information to potential buyers (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 508D-15 (2021)). Policymakers passed the law to ensure that prospective buyers are aware of future risks to property related to sea-level rise.

Related Organizations: State of Hawaii, Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Hawaii Act 178 (House Bill 243): Relating to Sea-Level Rise Adaptation

July 2, 2021

On July 2, 2021, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed into law Act 178 (House Bill 243), which directs the state’s agencies to collaborate toward identifying state facilities that are vulnerable to sea-level rise, flooding, and natural hazards (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 225M-__ (2021)). Act 178 also requires agencies to assess options to mitigate the impacts of sea-level rise to these facilities. The law affirms and updates the Hawaii Office of Planning’s role in providing “central direction and cohesion” as the leader of this interagency effort (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 225M-2 (2021)).

Related Organizations: State of Hawaii, Hawaii State Office of Planning, Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Maine H.P. 1169–L.D. 1572: Resolve, To Analyze the Impact of Sea-Level Rise

June 16, 2021

On June 16, 2021, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law H. P. 1169–L. D. 1572 directing state-level departments and agencies to conduct a review of their laws and regulations to incorporate considerations of a relative sea-level rise of 1. 5 feet by 2050 and 4 feet by 2100. Additionally, this law directs state-level departments and agencies to identify ways to implement strategy F3 of the Maine Climate Action Plan, Maine Won’t Wait, “to enhance community resilience to flooding and other climate impacts.

Related Organizations: State of Maine

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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California “Sea the Future” Tool

The “Sea the Future” tool was developed by the State of California to help the state’s local planners and residents understand and be able to select from among a dozen different sea-level rise and flooding visualization tools that may be useful in efforts to plan for sea-level rise. Sea the Future provides summaries and information on tool features, similarities and differences across tools, and advantages and disadvantages of each tool so that end-users can make an informed decision about which tool(s) to use to support decisionmaking.

Related Organizations: California State Coastal Conservancy

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Keep Safe Miami

February 16, 2021

In February 2021, Enterprise Community Partners and the City of Miami, Florida released Keep Safe Miami, a set of tools aimed at owners and operators of affordable multifamily housing properties in Miami-Dade County. The tools can help property owners identify potential adaptation actions to increase the resilience of existing affordable housing to local climate change hazards, including sea-level rise and extreme weather events. Owners and operators of affordable housing units can use Keep Safe Miami’s resources to compare climate-related risks, prioritize adaptation strategies, and access local, state, and federal funding sources. As part of the program, the City of Miami also set aside $500,000 in deferred loans for owners and operators participating in the Keep Safe Miami program.

Related Organizations: Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework

In October 2020, the Commonwealth of Virginia published the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework (Framework), which presents the Commonwealth's strategy for implementing coastal protection and adaptation measures to increase the flood resilience of coastal communities and economies. The Framework presents the core principles of the Commonwealth's approach to coastal adaptation and protection and describes how Virginia will develop and implement its first Coastal Resilience Master Plan (Master Plan) by the end of 2021.

Related Organizations: State of Virginia

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Coastal Resilience Solutions for Downtown Boston and North End

September 2020

The “Coastal Resilience Solutions for Downtown Boston and the North End” is a $200 to $300 million dollar, 50-year plan to protect the Boston waterfront, including Downtown, the North End, and the eastern edge of the city’s West End. The plan aims to protect these neighborhoods from a hundred-year flood on top of a 40 inch rise in sea levels by late this century. The integrated plan relies on a combination of natural (green infrastructure) defenses, breakwaters, seawalls, harbor walks, and raised land to protect the waterfront and inland areas from increases in coastal flooding and sea level rise.

Related Organizations: City of Boston, Massachusetts

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Louisiana Land Trust Resettlement Projects

In Louisiana, a state-created land trust is supporting floodplain buyouts and helping families relocate out of vulnerable flood-prone areas. The Louisiana Land Trust (LLT) was created in 2005 to support buyouts after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After more recent flood events, LLT expanded its role to help communities relocate to safer, higher ground areas. The land trust is helping to facilitate the resettlement of residents of the Pecan Acres subdivision in Pointe Coupee Parish and the Isle de Jean Charles community in Terrebonne Parish. The Pecan Acres subdivision is located in a lower-income neighborhood north of the City of New Roads, and has experienced repeated flooding 17 times over the past 20 years. LLT is working to help resettle approximately 40 households within the subdivision by acquiring their flood-prone properties, and supporting a development on higher ground where they can relocate. Isle de Jean Charles is a narrow island in South Terrebonne parish and is the home of the Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha Confederation of Muskogees and United Houma Nation tribes. The island has lost 98% of its land mass since 1955 and many residents have left as a result of increasing flooding, where encroaching seas often flood the only roadway connecting the island to the mainland. With funding from the National Disaster Resilience Competition, the state is working to support implementation of a tribal resettlement plan. LLT acquired the resettlement site, about 40 miles north of the island that will be redeveloped. Eligible and participating families and individuals will be offered properties on the site with a five-year forgivable mortgage. Both the Pecan Acres and Isle de Jean Charles resettlement developments will incorporate resilient and green design features (including elevation about FEMA minimum standards, LEED certified construction, green infrastructure, and community amenities like parks) and will enable the residents to relocate together, maintaining social bonds and cohesion. This example demonstrates how land trusts can support efforts to relocate whole communities, and support development of sustainable and resilient receiving communities.

Related Organizations: Louisiana Office of Community Development - Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU) , Louisiana Land Trust

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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