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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.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments

Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environment (LA SAFE) supplements Louisiana’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan by serving as a generalized framework for land use and community development along Louisiana’s coast. Recognizing that not all vulnerable areas can be protected from flood risks, the report outlines three different development strategies - Retreat, Retrofit, or Resettle.  Based upon the expected flood inundation from a 100-year storm event over the next 50 years, the strategies respond to three typological zones: Retreat from areas projected to experience more than 14 feet of flood inundation; Retrofit places of economic and cultural value projected to experience between 3 and 14 feet of flood inundation; and Resettle to maximize underdeveloped areas and high-ground corridors that are projected to experience less than 3 feet of flood inundation.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, Article 23: Landscape, Stormwater Management, and Screening

May 2015

In 2015, the New Orleans City Council adopted a new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO). Article 23 of the CZO addresses landscaping and stormwater management with the intended purpose of reducing the urban heat island effect, decreasing flooding and strains on the existing drainage system, improving water conservation, and protecting public health, safety, and welfare. Article 23 of the CZO does not directly mention climate change or climate adaptation, but does specify regulations that can improve the cities ability to manage stormwater in the face of increased precipitation and mitigate heat in the face of rising temperatures though green infrastructure.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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U.S. Department of Transportation's Gulf Coast Study

January 2015

The U.S. Department of Transportation conducted the Gulf Coast Study to better understand the range of potential climate change impacts on transportation infrastructure and identify possible strategies for adapting infrastructure. It was conducted in two major phases, starting with Phase 1 (completed in 2008), and ending with the completion of Phase 2 in 2015.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Louisiana Coastal Adaptation Toolkit

2015

The Louisiana Coastal Adaptation Toolkit provides adaptation resources that communities can use to address climate impacts on coastal Louisiana. This toolkit highlights adaptation strategies, and offers guidance on how to use certain practices or policy strategies in concert with the natural environment of Louisiana’s coast to foster adaptation. In addition, the toolkit contains links to resources on each of the coastal impacts covered in this document, and funding options to implement these adaptation strategies.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Garrett C. Wolf, Craig E. Colten

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Resettlement as a Resilience Strategy

October 27, 2015

This document provides background information and guidance to Louisiana’s state and local governments on the retreat and resettlement process, and outlines the strategy for the ongoing resettlement of the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Native American community. As sea level rise and land loss threaten Louisiana’s low-lying regions, coastal communities must consider the costs and benefits of retreat and resettlement. The report provides a history of resettlement in the United States and makes the case that the resettlement of Isle de Jean Charles is just the beginning of more resettlement projects in the region.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Gulf of Mexico Climate Change Adaptation Inventory

June 24, 2011

The Climate Change Adaptation Inventory is a compilation of climate adaptation activities and research initiatives taking place at the federal, state, and local levels in communities adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. The inventory focuses specifically on those projects and efforts that address climate change or sea level rise. Research activities captured by the inventory are limited to those projects that have applications to coastal communities, particularly planning and development, land management, and socioeconomic initiatives.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Coastal Inundation Toolkit

The Coastal Inundation Toolkit was developed by the Digital Coast Partnership Group to help communities understand and address coastal inundation issues - where water covers what is normally dry land. Information and resources are organized into 5 stages: understanding coastal inundation, identifying community risks and vulnerabilities, creating inundation maps, communicating risks and vulnerability, and discovering what others are doing to address inundation. For each of these 5 areas, explanations and guidance are provided with links to the specific resources available from Digital Coast to support that specific step in the process, making this a user-friendly way to support assessments and planning for sea level rise and extreme weather events.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Southeast Regional Assessment Project (SERAP)

December 13, 2010

The Southeast Regional Assessment Project (SERAP) was developed by the Department of Interior's (DOI) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC). This report defines proposed efforts by SERAP to better integrate and support efforts of the eight DOI NCCWSC Regional Climate Science Centers (RCSCs) and DOI's Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), optimize ecosystem management decisions, and satisfy overall DOI conservation objectives.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE) Adaptation Strategies

May 2019

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 ten 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). Building on LA SAFE’s community-driven framework for adaptation and the ten state-funded projects, the state is continuing to work with the six parishes to mainstream and institutionalize adaptation and resilience at both the regional and parish levels. In May 2019, the state released a regional adaptation strategy and six parish-level strategies to support long-term adaptation planning. Each strategy follows LA SAFE’s framework for identifying projects to meet different adaptation and development goals based on flood risk to ensure that future regional and local projects are similarly designed to advance comprehensive approaches. These strategies will assist the parishes to develop and invest in additional projects that will be more resilient to coastal impacts over the state's 50-year planning horizon and achieve multiple benefits for communities. These strategies can serve as an example for other state, regional, and local jurisdictions considering long-term, comprehensive planning for adaptation and managed retreat. 

 

Resource Category: Planning

 

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