October 17, 2018 Home Page, Metropolitan Planning Organization Comments Off on HOUMA-THIBODAUX MEETING – LOUISIANA WATERSHED INITIATIVE

Through the Louisiana Watershed Initiative, the state is working toward the coordination of floodplain management responsibilities based on watershed boundaries and will be collaborating with local jurisdictions in the months to come to achieve all related long-term outcomes. There will be a total of eight meetings statewide to discuss this initiative.


October 23, 2018


South Central Planning and Development Commission

5058 West Main Street

Houma, La 70364


  • Elected officials
  • Municipal, parish and planning district staff who work in areas such as planning and zoning, public works, emergency management, floodplain management, safety and permitting
  • Local engineers, floodplain managers, modelers, GIS professionals, scientists or experts with access to datasets

(Sessions are divided, scroll down to view times for each meeting)


Kevin Belanger




In March and August of 2016, floodwaters impacted more than 145,000 homes throughout Louisiana, causing more than $10 billion in damage. In the weeks that followed, as recovery efforts began, Governor John Bel Edwards directed state agencies to coordinate programs and efforts toward future flood risk mitigation with a clear mandate – the status quo for floodplain management in Louisiana would no longer be an option. Water flows downhill and does not recognize political or arbitrary boundaries; thus, it must be managed, and associated risks mitigated, in a manner that takes this behavior into account. Gov. Edwards established the Council on Watershed Management through executive order JBE18-16 to serve as the continuation of this early interagency coordination and collaboration, which is composed of multiple state agencies with floodplain management responsibilities.


The Council on Watershed Management is focused on working with local leadership and stakeholders to advance and support planning efforts, projects, and policies that achieve six distinct long-term outcomes for the resilience of Louisiana communities involving data, engagement, standards, funding, capability and capacity, and integrated planning. In addition to these long-term outcomes, the Council recognizes that immediate actions must be taken to demonstrate progress toward resilience and reducing flood risk throughout the state.


TECHNICAL WORKSHOPS: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (open to all technical professionals)

These workshops will feature a technical discussion related to 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 datasets—are encouraged to attend. From 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., there will be a deep dive workshop evaluating the current state and path of a specific dataset. From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., there will be a general technical exchange in which participants are invited to share their local best practices, lessons learned, and needs, challenges and opportunities related to data in order to better understand and address flood risk.

WATERSHED INITIATIVE EXCHANGE: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (local, regional, state and federal officials only)

This session will include a facilitated discussion among our state agencies and municipal, parish and planning district staff who work in areas such as planning and zoning, public works, emergency management, floodplain management, safety and permitting. The focus of this session is to gather input on current local and regional challenges or opportunities that can inform Louisiana Watershed Initiative efforts with an emphasis on planning and policy.

ELECTED OFFICIALS BRIEFING: 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. (by invitation only)

Elected officials within each region are invited to meet with state agency officials 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. We very much want to hear from you as local elected officials, in addition to sharing updates and milestones.

If you or someone from your staff plan on attending any of these briefings, please RSVP by clicking here so we can plan accordingly. For more information, visit http://watershed.la.gov.

About author:

Planner II- Regional Transportation Safety Planner

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