Jefferson Parish derives its uniqueness from being one of the few parishes with land stretching from Lake Pontchartrain to the Gulf of Mexico; with this distinct geography comes distinct vulnerabilities. This includes communities that fall along the entire flood risk spectrum, ranging from low risk within the 100-year Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS)levee protection system to high-risk areas adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. With the threat of sea level rise, coastal land loss and decaying and/or unmaintained infrastructure, residents of Jefferson Parish will experience increased flood risk if adaptive and holistic policies, plans, and procedures are not designed and implemented correctly.
Land loss, flood risk, subsidence and other environmental risks threaten the stability and viability of already-vulnerable communities on the West Bank of the Mississippi and in the coastal regions of the parish. Inside the levee system on both the East Bank and West Bank, there are challenges associated with subsidence, maintenance of stormwater pumping systems and the HSDRRS levee, and more frequent flooding as a result of more storms that produce high amounts of rainfall. To move forward with a viable adaptive plan that addresses flood risk while considering socioeconomic conditions to holistically adapt to the future, these specific risks and vulnerabilities must be explored.
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See What You’ve Missed
The Round 3 meeting in early August was a return to the parishwide format, and was held at the Mel Ott Recreation Center in Gretna. At this meeting, residents worked with the LA SAFE team to further develop and refine ideas and visions for community adaptation to increasing flood risk and vulnerability. Residents highlighted complete streets including increased shade canopy, bike lines and sidewalks as an important transportation option. With respect to stormwater management, attendees felt that investing and incentivizing in green infrastructure was a promising potential solution.”
At the Round 2 meetings in late May and early June, Jefferson Parish residents met with the LA SAFE team at three smaller community meetings in Metairie, Marrero and Jean Lafitte, and discussed potential adaptation strategies for their communities from a generational perspective. Residents offered ideas on stormwater management such as rain barrels, green roofs and zoning changes and code requirements for new construction. Other popular topics included improvements to transportation focused on community connectivity and livability, needs for education and job training, diversified housing options such as multifamily housing in walkable communities, and preserving the overall quality of life.
In late March, Jefferson Parish residents came out to the first LA SAFE meeting at the Alario Center and shared their input about their communities, culture and what they value about the parish. The connection to the environment in terms of livelihoods and recreation was a key theme that emerged, while residents also noted the increases in flood risk in coastal areas and neighborhoods as threats to their communities.
Stay tuned for more information regarding the fourth and fifth round of meetings.
Round 4: Community Meetings
In this fourth round of engagement, residents will have the opportunity to review and provide feedback on the draft strategies developed by the LA SAFE team after several rounds of collaborative meetings over the course of the year. These draft strategies will be presented in a variety of settings that could include focused discussions with participants from previous meetings, including public and elected officials; casual open-house gatherings; or table presentations at local festivals and other public spaces. The planning team will take these final suggestions into consideration as they complete the design of one adaptation strategy for each parish that addresses challenges and opportunities unique to that parish.
ROUND 5: PARISHWIDE MEETINGS
All of our work on this project brings us all together for this incredible moment, with residents invited to get an up-close and personal look at examples of parish-specific projects and policies. They’ll also get a chance to vote directly for the ones they want to see move forward in the process. This is it. This is what we’ve been building toward, so you can offer feedback on our collaboration and learn more about plans to complete your parish’s adaptation plan!
Download the latest push card or flier to help spread the word for the upcoming meeting in your parish.
We Need You! Get Involved Today.
Interested in leading a table discussion at the next meeting or hosting a community event? Let us know! We look forward to having you assist us in creating a stronger and safer future environment for Louisiana.