By Holly Duchmann Staff Writer
Posted Oct 18, 2017 at 7:45 PM
Updated Oct 18, 2017 at 7:45 PM
Terrebonne and Lafourche parish residents will have the opportunity to view and give feedback on drafts of plans, proposals and policies aimed to help local communities grapple with Louisiana’s changing landscape and coastal erosion.
After months of research and planning, LA SAFE representatives will return to Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes with a framework of strategies that were crafted from community and parishwide meetings held over the summer where residents expressed their concerns and ideas regarding the resiliency of their communities and cultures.
LA SAFE, or Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments, is aimed to help six parishes, including Terrebonne and Lafourche, come up with community-focused plans to adapt to Louisiana’s changing landscape, and complement the state’s Coastal Master Plan.
In Terrebonne, LA SAFE representatives will be at Rougarou Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on the corner of Church and Main Streets in downtown Houma. In Lafourche, the community meeting will be held from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Mathews Government Complex, 4876 La. 1.
This is the fourth and last round of meetings from LA SAFE before the programs and policies are actually created, and are heavily focused on gaining feedback the public.
“We’re really trying to use this as an opportunity to check in with everybody, make sure we’re on the right track and our planning process, and hopefully we can come back in a few months with round five with something close to completion,” said Mathew Sanders, resilience policy and program administrator for the Louisiana Office of Community Development.
The fifth round is on track to be held in December with about 80 percent of the programs created, Sanders said. Some programs may be community specific, while others may stretch across multiple parishes and become regional efforts.
LA SAFE has about $36 million to use in the six parishes, which also include Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes. The initiative is managed by the Louisiana Office of Community Development’s Disaster Recovery Unit in partnership with the Foundation for Louisiana’s Coastal Resilience Leverage Fund.