The National Academies’ Gulf Research Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have awarded $10.8 million to build healthy, resilient coastal communities and an LSU research team was one of four recipients. Jeff Carney of the Coastal Sustainability Studio was the lead author of a proposal that will support research for the next three years. Titled Inland from the Coast: A Multi-Scalar Approach to Regional Climate Change Responses, the project will include hydrologic modeling, research on community health and well-being, and applied community design to improve flood recovery and long-term resilience across the greater Baton Rouge inland-coastal region.
Geographer Craig Colten will be involved in two components of this work. He will help map the changing hydrology of the regional basins, assemble local ecological knowledge, and also conduct scenario building workshops to allow for public participation in shaping future land use and planning decisions that will contribute to enhanced resilience and improved community well-being. Graduate students Yi Ling Chan and Audrey Grismore will work as research assistants.
From the project abstract:
Risks from sea-level rise, land subsidence, and extreme weather are not limited to coastal areas but threaten entire inland-coastal regions. This project takes a multi-scalar, multi-disciplinary approach to river flood modeling, health and well-being research, and applied community design to improve flood recovery and long-term resilience across the greater Baton Rouge inland-coastal region. The team links university researchers with professional architects, engineers, landscape architects, planners, policymakers, and community members to improve understanding of inland-coastal environmental conditions and vulnerabilities, determine indicators of community health and well-being, and develop design and planning best practices for reducing risk and increasing adaptive capacity. While the project is focused on helping the greater Baton Rouge region emerge more resilient from the devastating 2016 floods, the resulting framework will be applicable to inland-coastal regions across the Gulf Coast and beyond.