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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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Louisiana Climate Action Plan

February 1, 2022

On February 1, 2022, Louisiana’s Climate Initiatives Task Force released the state’s first Climate Action Plan. In the plan, the task force notes that “Louisiana is among the most vulnerable states in the United States to the impacts of climate change” and poor air quality, repetitive flooding events, and extreme heat are impacting the state’s ability to be resilient. Although the Climate Action Plan is primarily intended to guide climate mitigation efforts in Louisiana, the task force recommends 28 strategies and 84 actions the state can take to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Louisiana Land Use Toolkit 3.0

April 2019

The Louisiana Land Use Toolkit was created by the Center of Planning Excellence (CPEX), as a model development code to support economically, culturally, and environmentally sustainable development for communities of Louisiana. The Toolkit applies “Smart Growth” principles to future development planning, aiming to create resilient communities, revitalized neighborhoods, increased land value, affordable housing, and protected rural, natural, and open space areas. The Toolkit is a free, online resource designed for Louisiana parishes and municipalities to tailor to local needs by adopting a zoning code, a subdivision code, or an individual ordinance — or to be customized into a complete development code.

Related Organizations: Center for Planning Excellence

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Patterns and Projections of High Tide Flooding Along the U.S. Coastline Using a Common Impact Threshold

February 2018

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) analyzes "high tide flooding" (also known as "nuisance flooding") in this report, and finds that it is becoming more commonplace due to sea level rise. High tide flooding impacts roads, beaches, parks, and private property, and is generally more disruptive than damaging. However, there are places such as Norfolk, Virginia; San Diego, California; and the U. S Marshall islands where it is currently a serious problem. Even more, with continued sea level rise, flooding is likely to increase.

Related Organizations: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Authors or Affiliated Users: William Sweet, Greg Dusek, Jayantha Obeysekera, John Marra

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE)

2018

The Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE) planning process is aimed at climate adaptation and resilience planning for coastal communities in Louisiana. The strategy supports mitigating risks and increasing resilience to coastal impacts - especially flooding. The LA SAFE initiative was first funded through a HUD long-term disaster recovery grant, for six parishes most impacted by Hurricane Isaac in 2012.  Guided by the state of Louisiana, and a network of regional non-profits focused on coastal restoration and resilience, it is a goal of the LA SAFE program to expand the program statewide in the future.

Related Organizations: State of Louisiana

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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My Strong Home - Home Risk Mitigation Loans

2017

MyStrongHome is a public-benefit corporation which aims to help homes and communities in coastal areas in South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana to be better protected from extreme weather by financing and managing home upgrades, especially new storm-ready roofs, to meet resilient building standards. By providing an “end-to-end” solution, from assessment and financing through construction and insurance, MyStrongHome makes home risk mitigation, and climate change resilience, more accessible to homeowners.

Resource Category: Funding

 

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A Sense of Place at Risk - Perspectives of residents of coastal Louisiana on nonstructural risk reduction strategies

April 14, 2016

Supported by Oxfam America, this study documented the views of residents from three vulnerable Louisiana coastal parishes - Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Plaquemines.   These parishes face extreme coastal land loss from flooding and sea level rise, and other critical climate and social impacts. The study focuses on nonstructural coastal flooding mitigation measures, such as restoring coastal marshlands. A series of interviews were conducted to investigate how residents understand and respond to the challenges of sea level rise and climate change.

Related Organizations: Oxfam America

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Resilient Jean Lafitte, Louisiana Flood Preparedness Toolkit

2016

The Jean Lafitte Flood Preparedness Toolkit developed by the Town of Jean Lafitte, Louisiana, provides information, guidelines and recommended regulations to reduce flood risk in the region. Jean Lafitte faces many climate related impacts including sea level rise, storm surge, hurricanes, with subsequent extreme flooding, erosion and permanent wetland loss - that in turn leads to more flooding. The toolkit provides best practices and guidelines to reduce flood risk on a Site and Building Scale as well as on Community Scale development.

Related Organizations: Town of Jean Lafitte, Louisiana

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Climate Change, Resilience and Fairness - How Nonstructural Adaptation Can Protect and Empower Socially Vulnerable Communities on the Gulf Coast

April 2016

Utilizing case studies from extreme flooding events, this paper synthesizes lessons learned, hazard mitigation strategies, and best practices in adaptation. The focus is on nonstructural adaptation strategies such as disaster planning and mitigation, and property buyouts. The best practices for implementing nonstructural adaptation strategies are also discussed with respect to impacts on, and solutions for, vulnerable communities.  The paper is grounded in three case studies of flooding events that each caused widespread damage, occurred across a range of demographic and socio-economic conditions, and involved both structural and nonstructural post-disaster adaptation strategies.

Related Organizations: Center for Progressive Reform

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Orleans, Louisiana Zika virus response

April 2016

In 2016, when the risk of Zika virus in the United States became higher, the mayor of New Orleans brought together public and private partners to proactively manage those risks and protect the city’s most vulnerable residents. By activating the local public health department, the Board of mosquito control, local physicians, environmental experts, and community members, the government was able to create a comprehensive Zika response plan to protect the public, especially pregnant women. In the first phase, partners educated the public on risks and mitigation strategies, especially healthcare providers and facilities. The city also stepped up vector control to reduce risk and surveillance of mosquito populations to ensure effectiveness. This combination of efforts was intended to ensure that Phases 2 and 3 of the Plan (activated in the case of reported cases of Zika) would be delayed or unnecessary due to preventive measures. By focusing education efforts for the public and healthcare entities on the risk to the most vulnerable subgroup of residents, the partners could ensure that pregnant women would be well-protected. The efforts were funded by general public health funding streams.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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