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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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LA SAFE concludes latest round of parishwide meetings; work begins for fall round

LA SAFE concludes latest round of parishwide meetings; work begins for fall round

Residents across six parishes began to draft adaptation plans after reviewing data, feedback from local communities

Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments wrapped up parishwide meetings in six coastal parishes Aug. 3 as residents identified ideas and priorities for their respective communities.

The larger summer meetings followed 21 smaller community meetings held in late May and early June that engaged nearly 500 residents in Plaquemines, Terrebonne, Jefferson, St. John the Baptist, Lafourche and St. Tammany parishes.

After this latest round, LA SAFE had engaged nearly 1,500 residents.

The parishwide meetings allowed residents to begin the process of drafting strategies based on the feedback generated during the community meeting process. This will lead to the design of specific parishwide adaptation strategies with at least one project, program or policy that would be funded through LA SAFE — a planning initiative coordinated by the Louisiana Office of Community Development’s Disaster Recovery Unit in partnership with Foundation for Louisiana’s Coastal Resilience Leverage Fund.

The LA SAFE planning process will conclude with the final adaptation of a plan for each parish by the end of 2017.

"We have been amazed at how residents have embraced the opportunity to develop a vision for Louisiana’s communities around current and future flood risk,” Mathew Sanders, OCD-DRU’s resilience program and policy administrator, said. “Our team will review all of the feedback provided and come back in the fall to work with residents and stakeholders to continue to refine that vision.”

“While we realize that these are just the first steps on a process that will take us beyond 2017 and hopefully serve as a model for future planning, we’re excited about getting closer to the completion of this particular project,” Liz Williams, director of Foundation for Louisiana’s Coastal Resilience Leverage Fund, said. “Now that we’ve agreed on what a planning process might look like, and identified communities’ needs and opportunities, we’re ready to draft strategies. We’re getting closer.”

Residents can continue to follow the planning process and receive updates on the LA SAFE initiative at, the LA SAFE Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram (all @livelasafe).