SW La. team chosen to attend coastal workshop

Southwest Louisiana was one of four county-based teams recently chosen to attend a workshop on improving existing plans for the coastline, drainage, natural disasters and water quality.

The team — made up of officials from Calcasieu and Cameron parishes, and the Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development District — will attend the Strengthening Coastal Counties Resilience Challenge workshop in Baldwin County, Ala. on Oct. 15-17. Teams were also picked from counties in Florida, Mississippi and Texas.

The effort is a three-year pilot program sponsored by the National Association of Counties, along with the Association of State Floodplain Managers, the Coastal States Organization and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was funded by NOAA’s Coastal Resilience Grant program.

Alberto Galan, administrative analyst for the Calcasieu Police Jury, said the Southwest Louisiana team was chosen because it has taken steps to address drainage, including master planning, and a rain gauge system that helps officials determine areas that need improvement.

“The level of expertise in Calcasieu is a testament to that,” he said. “Everybody’s worried about drainage, so this is just the icing on the cake when we were picked.”

Galan said the team will learn about the methods used in other counties and will decide if they will work here. The workshop will also feature interactive training and scenarios.

After the workshop, they will continue to get assistance and training. Galan said the teams will attend a follow-up clinic in October 2019, where they will discuss their progress and get more training from experts.

District 6 Calcasieu Police Juror Dennis Scott said in a statement that managing water is one of the biggest priorities for the parish and the Gulf coast.

“Whether it is related to drainage, water quality, or coastal protection and conservation … we can further build on what this parish continues to do to become more resilient and better protect the residents and property in this region,” Scott said.

Other team members include: Laurie Cormier, Calcasieu Police Jury program coordinator/coastal zone manager; Galan; Ryan Bourriaque, Cameron Parish Administrator; Myles Hebert, Cameron floodplain administrator; and Nikia Collins, Regional Economic Planner with IMCAL.

””Coastal WorkshopAmerican Press composite

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