FFL partners with state of Louisiana in citizen-led planning effort for coastal communities

Lousiana’s

FFL will work with the state’s Office of Community Development on LA SAFE (Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments), which will create a community-focused resilience and adaptation policy framework to complement the state’s Coastal Master Plan.

New Orleans, LA – Foundation for Louisiana (FFL) has joined forces with the state of Louisiana on a citizen-led planning effort for residents of six coastal parishes to take a more active role in shaping the future of their communities in the face of a shrinking coastline.

FFL will work with the state’s Office of Community Development on LA SAFE (Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments), which will create a community-focused resilience and adaptation policy framework to complement the state’s Coastal Master Plan. The planning process will focus on developing a common vision with coastal residents to guide future development, relative to projected flood risk, in coming decades.

“The Foundation’s mission is to invest in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities,” said Flozell Daniels, Jr., the Foundation for Louisiana’s president and CEO. “We are committed to the Governor’s call that every citizen in our coastal communities have the opportunity to plan their future themselves.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the launch of this effort in his keynote address at RES/CON, a national conference on community resilience that began Tuesday (March 7) at the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Convention Center in New Orleans. The planning process will involve public meetings focused on citizen input, as well as extensive outreach to residents of Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany and Terrebonne parishes. In total, the six parishes account for nearly 21 percent of Louisiana’s population — more than 965,000 residents.

In announcing the launch of the LA SAFE community planning process, Gov. Edwards stressed the importance of Louisiana’s coast to the economic vitality of the entire state and the nation.

“Our coast supplies 90 percent of the nation’s outer continental oils and gas, handles 20 percent of U.S. waterborne commerce and is home to a critical mass of commercial fisheries that feed our families and the world,” said Governor Edwards. “A stronger, safer coast is vital to our state — and our country’s — health and strength.”

FFL’s work on the LA SAFE planning process with the Office of Community Development is a key component of its overall work supported by its Coastal Resiliency Leverage Fund and the continuation of planning efforts that began in 2016 with the Plaquemines Resilience Planning Framework. That work — which included a series of planning meetings with residents, elected officials, activists, scientists, politic experts and advocates — has expanded in 2017 to include the other five coastal parishes. (Read more here.)

FFL will provide project support on LA SAFE thanks in part to support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the blue moon fund and additional project support from the Surdna Foundation. This support will fund equitable and inclusive engagement, representative coastal leadership and collaboration, accessible information and communication materials, and enhance usable data while leveraging partner investments toward regional resilience.

Visit lasafe.la.gov to learn more information.