251997 Integrated water resource management for increased resilience in southern Louisiana

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:30 AM

Sarah Mack, MSPH, PhD , President, Tierra Resources LLC, New Orleans, LA
Jeff Carney, Director and Associate Research Professor , Coastal Sustainability Studio, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
Ann M. Yoachim, MPH , Tulane Law School : Institute for Water Law and Policy, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Climate change, particularly increases in sea level, will severely impact coastal areas around the world (Syvitsky et al. 2009). This is especially true for the Mississippi delta that has large expanses of wetlands and many coastal communities at elevations near or in some cases below sea level (Day et al. 2007). For St. Bernard Parish located adjacent to New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina resulted in 100% flooding of the parish, a 45% permanent decrease in population, and a fragmented community as some neighborhoods have returned while others have experienced only a partial return. In addition, the parish loses 1,721 acres of wetlands a year that serve as a critical natural barrier to storm surges and related flooding. The Deepwater Horizon Disaster only exacerbated these existing economic, social and environmental challenges.

Adapting to climate change will require the design and management of sustainable ecosystems that integrate human society with the natural environment. Therefore, the future prosperity of St. Bernard Parish and communities across Southern Louisiana depends on the ability to shift away from currently unsustainable practices that contribute to the degradation of protective coastal ecosystems to practices that benefit both humans and the environment. This presentation will focus on efforts to increase resilience in St. Bernard Parish and to create healthier communities in coastal Louisiana through the lens of integrated water resource management. IWRM focuses on the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources to integrate structural and nonstructural control measures with natural and human-made water resource systems.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain how integrated water resource management can be used to increase resilience and create healthier communities.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am President of Tierra Resources, LLC an environmental consulting firm with a focus on ecosystem restoration and water management.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.