• Coasts & Deltas

  • Communities

  • Water Resources





About The Water Campus

Coastlands are home to one-third of all human population. Rising sea levels, uncertain weather patterns and the risk of drought and floods threaten the coastal shores and river basins throughout the world. The challenges facing us are sobering; Louisiana is washing away at an alarming rate. Our wetlands are disappearing at the rate of 24 square miles a year—a football field every 38 minutes.

Soon, Baton Rouge will become the centerpiece of global research dedicated to tackling the challenges of coastal land loss. The Water Campus is an independent, institute for applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure. It will provide a shared location for scientists and engineers to study the problems confronting our coasts. The facility will be a world-class campus where the best minds – in Baton Rouge and around the world - can formulate theories, exchange ideas, and collaborate in coming up with solutions.

The Water Campus will rise on 30 acres along the Mississippi River. When finished it will comprise 1.5 million square feet of space inhabited by about 4,000 people—all working together to understand and better manage the complex relationship between water, land and people. The centerpiece of the campus will be a three-story building of more than 36,000 square feet overlooking the Mississippi built on Baton Rouge's old Municipal Dock. This facility will be the new home of the Water Institute of the Gulf, a nonprofit started by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Surrounding the research core will be facilities where the best engineering firms, coastal planners, and government entities can office in immediate proximity to the Water Campus' scientific community.

For more information about The Water Campus please go to www.thewatercampus.org.

The architect selected to design the first Water Campus building is Louisiana-based Coleman Partners and global architect firm Perkins+Will.  The first building built for The Water Campus will be The Water Institute headquarters. For more information, please click here

About the Facilities

The initial phase will consist of the dedication of land, the construction of three facilities and an investment of over $50 million.  

    • The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will have an office on the campus, to house its 165-strong team of administrators, scientists, technicians and office support staff.  Approximate building cost will be $9 million.  
    • Coastal Education & Research Facility/The Water Institute of The Gulf on the old City Dock will include public education exhibits on coastal processes, resources and challenges; research and meeting facilities.  The $20 million construction project will begin in second half of 2014 and be funded through public and private investment.  
    • In addition, CPRA and LSU will also construct a River Modeling Center which is a small scale physical model of the lower Mississippi River operated by LSU for the study of all facets of ground and water behavior.  Research can be conducted on the morphology of rivers, lakes, and coasts, as well as ground and subsurface strength with the effects of wave loads and currents.  This modeling center, similar to the one at Deltares in the Netherlands, will bring researchers and scientists from around the world to study similar water related issues from their regions.  Construction of the 50,000 – square - foot facility is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2014.  The model covers a domain that spans from Donaldsonville to the Gulf of Mexico (190 river miles) and will carry precisely selected and calibrated synthetic sand to simulate the bed load transport characteristics of the Mississippi River.  It will be one of the largest, most dynamic models in the world.



    About the Organizations

    The Water Institute of the Gulf
    : The Water Institute of the Gulf is a not-for-profit, independent research institute dedicated to advancing the understanding of coastal, deltaic, river and water resource systems, both within the Gulf Coast and around the world. This mission supports the practical application of innovative science and engineering, providing solutions that benefit society. For more information, visit www.thewaterinstitute.org.

    The Baton Rouge Area Foundation:
    The Foundation is a community foundation with $608 million in assets. The Foundation connects philanthropists with nonprofits to make sure the needs of communities are met. After decades of providing the vision and the resources necessary to enhance the quality of life throughout south Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014.   Recognized for its work as an innovative problem solver and visionary, the Foundation and its partners, both public and private, have achieved a long and impressive list of accomplishments in urban revitalization, education, research, the arts, regional transportation and infrastructure improvement.

    Commercial Properties Realty Trust: CPRT is a real estate investment trust that manages and develops property holdings of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Because of this relationship with the community foundation, a portion of the profits are shared for improving the quality of life in areas where CPRT operates. CPRT manages shopping centers and mixed-use properties in North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas. For more, visit CPRT.com. For more about the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, visit BRAF.org.