Building Resilience through Collaborative Management of Coastal Protection and Restoration Planning in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, USA

Mar 3, 2022

Author(s): Christina A. DeMyers

This paper presents the results of a collaborative planning process to develop an integrated coastal restoration plan for Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana that recognizes the knowledge, experience, and priorities of residents and local stakeholders. To achieve this goal, the research team convened a broad group of stakeholders who live and work in Plaquemines Parish, including representatives of the seafood, navigation, and oil and gas industries, as well as residents, landowners, and those who are indigenous to the region, all of whom rely upon the ecosystem services provided by the wetlands, bays, and waterways for sustenance and wellbeing. Using a combination of local knowledge mapping and participatory modeling, the group worked with scientists to develop a restoration plan consisting of a suite of interlinked natural and nature-based solutions. The approach was intentionally interactive and iterative, creating a venue for open dialogue between residents, scientists, and resource users where no one source of knowledge was given primacy over another. Residents were able to contribute information regarding coastal restoration planning within their own communities, and a consensus plan for prioritizing restoration efforts in clusters was submitted for consideration as part of the State of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan process. Providing local stakeholders with direct access to scientists allowed their local knowledge to be translated into data products that could be more readily ingested into numerical models and other scientific planning tools. More here.