BATON ROUGE, La. ‒ 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."
The workshops are scheduled as follows:
|Oct. 8||Technical Workshops: LABEOC Informative Research Center, 635 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette, LA
Elected Officials Briefing: Rosa Parks Transportation Center, 101 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA
|Oct. 16||West Monroe Convention Center, 901 Ridge Ave., West Monroe, LA|
|Oct. 17||Pineville Community Center, 708 Main St., Pineville, LA|
|Oct. 18||Shreveport Convention Center, 400 Caddo St., LA|
|Oct. 23||South Central Planning & Development Commission, 5058 West Main St., Houma, LA|
|Nov. 7||IMCAL (SEED Center), 4310 Ryan St., Lake Charles, LA|
|Nov. 14||Tangipahoa Parish Clausen Conference Room, 15845 W. Club Deluxe Road, Hammond, LA|
|Nov. 15||BREC Administration, 6201 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA|
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.