The Louisiana Coastal Adaptation Toolkit

Garrett C. Wolf and Craig E. Colten
Posted on: 11/03/2020 - Updated on: 12/21/2020

Posted by

Kathryn Braddock



The Water Institute of the Gulf (the Institute) has been exploring the “human dimensions” of the Louisiana coast. A critical issue that we identified is how to provide information that can assist communities facing environmental changes. Already other organizations around the world have been formulating guidance for adapting to climate change. This adaptation toolkit is our attempt to provide information to Louisiana residents and decision makers. Its purpose is to guide communities and their leaders, planners, and residents to resources to help them adapt to myriad challenges present in coastal Louisiana. This toolkit highlights options for adjusting various aspects of community life, as well as guidance on how to use particular policy strategies or work with the natural environment of Louisiana’s coast to foster adaptation. In addition to a set of approaches, this toolkit also contains links to further information resources on each of the coastal challenges covered in this document, and funding options to help communities implement their chosen adaptation strategies. 

This toolkit is specifically prepared for Louisiana coastal residents, but draws on the experiences of other similar endeavors around the globe. We have arranged this toolkit around the many challenges Louisiana’s coastal communities face, although not all locations are subject to the full array of changing environmental conditions. For each challenge, we provide adaptive options arranged in broad categories: regulatory and planning, design and engineering, ecosystem, and social. 

By providing this toolkit, a goal of the Institute is to help communities be aware of the resources available to them to become more resilient; meaning they successfully complete and sustain these adaptations in ways that enable them to continue functioning as viable places for people to live, work, and play. Previous generations adapted and have been able to persist in place, but current social and economic conditions demand more deliberate and assertive adaptive strategies in the face of greater environmental challenges and our substantial fixed investments on the coast. is document, in conjunction with other e orts of the Institute and the many other organizations dedicated to sustaining coastal Louisiana, aims to assist with that process.