Louisiana is developing a coastal adaptation plan for six of the state’s low-lying coastal parishes. Louisiana’s draft Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (or LA SAFE) plan would offer home buyouts, restrict new residential development, and institute tax incentives and other policies to promote relocation from flood-prone areas. The six parishes comprise over a fifth of the state’s population, or 965,000 residents. 59,000 of those residents live in “high-risk” areas.
Parts of Southern Louisiana have seen steadily increasing levels of flood risk in recent years, due to various factors including sea level rise, subsidence from oil and gas extraction, and coastal erosion. Louisiana has the highest rate of coastal erosion in the country.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced the launch of LA SAFE in March 2017. The planning process is being led by the state’s Office of Community Development, Disaster Recovery Unit, in partnership with the independent nonprofit Foundation for Louisiana and the elected leadership of the six parishes. The plan’s development and initial phase of implementation are supported through a $40M competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The plan completed its fifth and final round of public engagement in December, and it is expected to be finalized for consideration by various government agencies in the coming months. Learn more here.