The Louisiana Watershed Initiative will host a statewide listening tour to gather input from data experts, planning officials and local leaders on the state's efforts to reduce flood risk and create more resilient communities. The eight-stop "listening tour" begins Oct. 8 in Lafayette and continues through November.
"As our state continues moving in the direction of a science and data-driven approach to reducing flood risk for all our residents, it is critical that we hear firsthand from local experts about the challenges they face locally to inform this new approach represented by the Louisiana Watershed Initiative," said Pat Forbes, Office of Community Development executive director. "Through this listening tour, we’ll gain an even greater understanding of how to advance our work to make informed decisions in the coming months and years that improve safety, save money and protect our state’s unique cultures."
Each workshop will feature a morning session from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. that includes an overview of datasets and data elements specific to the region in which the workshop is held, as well as discussions of how data are currently used, managed or shared at a local level to inform flood risk-reduction efforts. Technical experts interested in taking part, such as local engineers, floodplain managers, modelers, GIS professionals, scientists or experts with access to data management are encouraged to visit the following link and register here. The presentation portion of each data discussion will be live-streamed and archived for later viewing at facebook.com/lawatershedinitiative. Media are encouraged to attend this workshop with state agency leadership and staff available for interviews.
Following this data discussion, state agency officials will host planning and zoning, emergency management, permitting and other local or regional agency staff from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to gather input on current challenges or opportunities that can inform Louisiana Watershed Initiative efforts with an emphasis on planning, projects and policy topics.
Finally, elected officials within each region are invited to meet with state agency officials from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in order to learn more about the Louisiana Watershed Initiative, share questions and feedback, and identify opportunities for local jurisdictions to participate in planning and programmatic efforts moving forward. To view dates and workshop locations register here.
About the Louisiana Watershed Initiative
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the Louisiana Watershed Initiative in August 2018 as a long-range vision for the state’s multi-pronged efforts to mitigate flood risk by focusing on natural boundaries. The announcement followed Gov. Edwards’ executive order in May to establish the Council on Watershed Management as the coordinated interagency structure for all Louisiana Watershed Initiative efforts.
To view the vision white paper outlining the long-term objectives and outcomes for the Louisiana Watershed Initiative, click here.