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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. 

 

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Louisiana Watershed Initiative

August 15, 2018

In August 2018, Governor John Bel Edwards launched the Louisiana Watershed Initiative in response to historic flooding events in 2016 that revealed Louisiana's high susceptibility to flooding throughout the state. Louisiana has a devastating history of flooding, with the state experiencing 16 federally declared flood- and hurricane-related disasters in the past 20 years. The Watershed Initiative is a statewide effort to reduce flood risk and increase flood resilience in Louisiana through regional coordination of floodplain management.

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Louisiana 2017 Coastal Master Plan

June 2, 2017

In June 2017, the Louisiana State Legislature unanimously approved the state’s 2017 Coastal Master Plan, which updates the state’s 2012 plan.   The Coastal Master Plan provides a 50-year blueprint for directing Louisiana’s investments, regulations, and programs in coastal restoration, resilience, and protection. The plan recommends 124 projects to restore coastal ecosystems, build flood control structures, and enhance land-use policies to reduce flood risks in coastal Louisiana communities and to enhance coastal economies and ecosystems.

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Gulf of Mexico Alliance - Governors’ Action Plan III For Healthy and Resilient Coasts (2016-2021)

June 2016

The Governors’ Action Plan III for Healthy and Resilient Coasts is the third report in a series of action plans from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance that addresses issues common to all Gulf States. This report is a five-year plan for six regional priorities including Coastal Resilience, Data and Monitoring, Education and Engagement, Habitat Resources, Water Resources, and Wildlife and Fisheries. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is a cooperative partnership of the five U. S. Gulf States (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas), federal agencies, academic organizations, businesses, and other non-governmental organizations.

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Case Study of Efforts to Promote Resilient Affordable Housing in New Orleans

2016

The City of New Orleans is prioritizing efforts to provide safe, affordable housing as part of its resilience strategy.  In June 2016, the City released its Housing for a Resilient New Orleans: Five-Year Strategy, that lays out the City's approach for protecting and enhancing safe and affordable housing as the City continues to rebound from Katrina and other hurricanes.  Although the Strategy does not explicitly address climate change, it does talk about the resilience challenges posed by the lack of safe and affordable housing and it discusses the city's plan for preserving and enhancing existing affordable housing and building new housing.

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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.

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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.

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Resilient New Orleans: Strategic Action to Shape Our Future City

August 25, 2015

In August 2015, the City of New Orleans released its Resilient New Orleans strategy outlining the city's vision and plan for building a more equitable, adaptable, and prosperous New Orleans that will serve the next generations of residents. The strategy was developed by the City of New Orleans as part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative. Resilient New Orleans identifies a number of ongoing and supporting actions that the city is already taking, as well as 14 new strategies that New Orleans will implement in support of its resilience vision.

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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

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Lafourche Parish, Louisiana Comprehensive Resiliency Plan

April 8, 2014

Lafourche Parish in coastal Louisiana created a comprehensive resiliency plan to guide economic development, transportation and land use investments in the parish for the next 20 years, as well as to strengthen local resiliency to natural disasters. In an effort to make wiser and more coordinated development decisions, Lafourche Parish, with the assistance of the Center for Planning Excellence and Office of Community Development, has collaborated with citizens and local businesses to produce this planning document that will provide a blueprint and recommendations for growth and development in Lafourche.

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