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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.

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State of Iowa and State of Texas: Regional Water Planning

May 18, 2022

This entry summarizes some approaches to regional watershed management and flood mitigation in Texas and Iowa. This research was conducted to inform Georgetown Climate Center's work in Louisiana's Region Seven Watershed. 

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State of North Carolina: North Carolina Regions Innovating for Strong Economies and Environment (RISE)

May 19, 2022

Regions Innovating for Strong Economies and Environment (RISE) is a program created by the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) and the North Carolina (NC) Rural Center. RISE supports resilience efforts in eastern North Carolina regions that have been impacted by recent storms. RISE promotes community-led resilience efforts, provides guidance to community members, builds local capacity, and brings leaders together to develop regional networks. RISE is funded by a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant and the Duke Energy Foundation. One initiative under the RISE program is Homegrown Leaders, which is a leadership and economic development training program created by the NC Rural Center. RISE and Homegrown Leaders are noteworthy examples of  regional-scale approaches to overcome local resource challenges and comprehensively address future economic development and equity in rural communities as a part of resilience initiatives. 

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Jefferson Parish, Louisiana: Jefferson Parish Watershed Management Plan and Balancing Water Campaign

May 20, 2022

Jefferson Parish, Louisiana lies on a coastal floodplain of the Gulf of Mexico and has more water than land area. The parish is innovating to adapt to rising sea levels and more extreme flooding in the region, and created the Balancing Water Campaign to mitigate flood risk and improve its communities’ resilience. The approach to balancing water levels focuses on rethinking how to manage the impacts of stormwater and land subsidence to live with more water, while increasing natural drainage across the floodplain. The Jefferson Parish Watershed Management Plan was developed as a part of the Balancing Water initiative, to guide local decisionmakers with resilient floodplain management strategies for capital improvements, regulatory revisions, and land use, while emphasizing the use of green infrastructure and low-impact development. In addition, the parish is undertaking other complementary efforts like elevating flood-prone homes with the support of federal grants, and participating in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System (CRS) program and a Jefferson Parish CRS Users Group to further local flood resilience initiatives.

 

Resource Category: Planning

 

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City of Mexico Beach, Florida: Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code

May 20, 2022

Mexico Beach is a small, coastal community in Bay County, Florida that has begun to adopt resilience measures following climate-enhanced disasters from hurricanes and flooding. Following Hurricane Michael, Mexico Beach amended its zoning regulations to require that new structures be elevated at least a foot and a half higher than the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s base-level flood predictions in both the city’s 100-year and 500-year floodplains. The city also partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement specific stormwater management projects, such as bioswales and retention projects, on certain streets. Smaller communities, such as in rural areas, and local governments can look to Mexico Beach as an example of how to incorporate resilience measures into zoning ordinances, especially in a post-disaster context.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Ascension Parish, Louisiana and St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana: Conservation Planning and Zoning

May 20, 2022

Ascension and St. Tammany Parishes are two parishes or counties in Louisiana that are using planning and zoning to promote floodplain management and conserve green spaces. Each parish is contemplating how to preserve suburban and rural character through planning processes. In addition, each parish has crafted code language that allows it to conserve rural spaces by discouraging sprawl and floodplain development and by downzoning or decreasing developable density outside commercial centers.     Ascension Parish  Master Land Use Plan In 2019, Ascension released an updated version of its Master Land Use Plan, which was approved by the parish’s Planning Commission.

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Main Street America and Louisiana Main Street America

May 20, 2022

The Main Street America program offers financial and technical support to help revitalize older and historic downtowns and commercial districts in both rural and urban environments. Many states have Coordinating Programs to implement Main Street America across the country. Louisiana Main Street is Louisiana’s Coordinating Program and works with local governments in the state to preserve and maintain historic districts in Louisiana.

Local governments can look to Main Street America and state-specific programs to enhance local resilience in downtown and commercial districts by investing in municipalities and economies, including by restoring and preserving vacant lots and degraded buildings. Program grants and federal and state historic tax credits can also be used to supplement other types of funding to support overall community revitalization efforts.

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Toward a Rainproof NYC

July 2022

During Hurricane Ida, New York City was caught off guard in its inability to handle intense and prolonged rainfall. Media and elected officials could not understand how NYC could deal with these issues. Against this backdrop, in July 2022, Rebuild by Design and One Architecture released a report, “Toward a Rainproof NYC. ” It demonstrates how systematically-implemented green solutions and infrastructure strategies can be less expensive and still beneficial in dealing with significant weather events.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Montgomery County Council Bill 3-22

July 2022

On July 12, 2022, the Montgomery County Council passed Council Bill 3-22, requiring climate assessments for future legislation. The aim is to provide decisionmakers with information on climate implications (emissions and resilience) of decisions they may make. The legislation responded to the Council’s Resolution 18-974 in 2017, which declared a climate emergency and set emissions goals.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Greauxing Resilience at Home — Miami-Dade County, Florida: Little River Adaptation Action Area Plan

June 16, 2022

The Little River Adaptation Action Area (AAA) plan was released in January 2022 as part of the process to implement the Miami-Dade County Sea Level Rise Strategy. Adaptation Action Areas are locations that are especially prone to climate impacts like coastal flooding so that they can be prioritized for funding and planning purposes. The Little River AAA is made up of parts of the City of Miami, as well as the Village of El Portal and two unincorporated areas. Identified as one of the communities in that area most susceptible to climate impacts, Miami-Dade County’s Office of Resilience, in collaboration with Florida’s Department of the Department of Environmental Protection and private partners like Savino-Miller Design, developed the adaptation plan to address existing conditions across five sectors by offering distinct adaptation tools that can help mitigate the impacts of climate within each sector. From this plan, local policymakers and planners can take the generalized idea behind AAA — and the practice of making adaptation plans more specific to localities — as well as the specific projects and programs recommended within the document and implement them in their own communities. This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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