Louisiana’s 2023 Coastal Master Plan – a commitment to risk reduction and restoration

Image Credit: CPRA

Earlier this year, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board approved the fourth iteration of the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan. The plan incorporates the best available scientific and engineering data and community input to prioritize projects for implementation to protect and restore Louisiana’s coast.

Image Credit : Pass A Loutre, 2020 (CPRA)
Master Plan projects | Image Credit: CPRA

“Implementing the projects in the plan over a 50-year period could reduce risk from tropical storms and hurricanes to coastal communities to less than what the current risk level is today. A better protected and more resilient Louisiana should give the people of this state hope for decades to come.”

CPRA Chairman Chip Kline

The master plan serves as a long-term, comprehensive guide to restoration and risk reduction investments by the State of Louisiana. It is undertaken in parallel with other efforts to address more acute challenges in the coastal zone. [1] It outlines various projects and initiatives with over 131 candidate projects evaluated. Several have been selected to address climate and other uncertainties using predictive models and new risk matrices and modelling. The 2023 Coastal Master Plan is accessible to the community via a graphical Master Plan Data Viewer. The viewer provides information about the projects, including type, location, and implementation in years. It also includes information modelling the land change, vegetation, damage, and flood depth based on different scenarios.

Projects screen of the Master Plan Data Viewer | Image Credit: CPRA

The masterplan provides information in a series of chapters, including:

  • Understand – looks to understand the natural, economic and cultural resources.
  • Predict – predictive models to understand how storm-surge damage might change with and without projects.
  • Evaluate – the evaluation of candidate projects using a Planning Tool and modelling.
  • Take Action – an outline of the 77 restoration and risk reduction projects by region, including costings.
  • Regional Approach – a look to the coast now and into the future, going beyond projects and showing a fuller picture of what each region can expect.
  • Beyond the Master Plan – more information about initiatives and programs that agencies and communities can use or become involved with.
  • Appendices – information and data that provide technical information relating to the Coastal Master Plan.
Figure 5.6 – Take Action chapter of the Louisana 2023 Coastal Master Plan | Image Credit: CPRA
Figures 4.5 & 4.6 showing project types – Evaluate chapter of the Louisana 2023 Coastal Master Plan | Image Credit: CPRA

The Louisana 2023 Coastal Master Plan is an example of how a government organization can provide a document that easily lays out the issues, goals and projects in a graphical manner that makes it easy to read and understand. The use of digital tools such as the Master Plan Data Viewer, in addition to the Master Plan, makes the document come alive to the viewer with an easy-to-use interface that provides legible maps and data with a few mouse clicks. It is also heartening to see that an Executive Summary has been provided to community groups in English,  French,  Spanish and Vietnamese.

Diagrams from the Evaluate chapter presented in Vietnamese in the Executive Summary | Image Credit: CPRA

Find out more about Louisana 2023 Coastal Master Plan [1] at https://coastal.la.gov/our-plan/2023-coastal-master-plan/

Many people contributed to this Master Plan, including the team CPRA, various government and non-profit organizations and design firms and consultants such as Scape Landscape Architecture.

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/