Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the launch of a citizen-led planning effort to provide residents of six coastal parishes the opportunity to actively shape the future of their communities so they are stronger and safer even as Louisiana’s coastline is dramatically changing.

The planning process is a key component of LA SAFE–Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptation for Future Environments–the policy framework that complements the state’s Coastal Master Plan. The planning process will focus on soliciting the feedback of coastal residents about how they would like to see their communities adapt and develop in coming decades. 

“The people of Louisiana are resilient by nature. They will always rise to meet any challenge. Today, I am calling on them to become involved in LA SAFE so we can be certain the rich traditions and boundless opportunities of our coast are preserved for generations to come. Every voice, every idea, is important.”

The planning process will involve public meetings focused on citizen input, as well as extensive outreach to the residents of Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany and Terrebonne parishes. In total, the six parishes account for nearly 21 percent of Louisiana’s population– over 965,000 residents. 

The planning process of LA SAFE is being undertaken in partnership with the Foundation for Louisiana and the elected leadership of the six parishes. 

“The Foundation’s mission is to invest in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities,” said Flozell Daniels, Jr., the Foundation for Louisiana’s president and CEO. “We are committed to the Governor’s call that every citizen in our coastal communities have the opportunity to plan their future themselves.”  

In announcing the launch of the LA SAFE community planning process, Governor Edwards stressed the importance of Louisiana’s coast to the economic vitality of the entire state and the nation. 

“Our coast supplies 90 percent of the nation’s outer continental oils and gas, handles 20 percent of U.S. waterborne commerce and is home to a critical mass of commercial fisheries that feed our families and the world,” said Edwards. “A stronger, safer coast is vital to our state—and our country’s—health and strength.” 

Governor Edwards made his remarks during his keynote address at the opening of an international conference on community resiliency being held at the New Orleans.  

Detailed information about meeting dates, times and locations is available at LASAFE.LA.GOV.  The website will be continuously updated with timely information about the planning process and includes links to LA SAFE’s Facebook page, Twitter account and other tools to ensure active citizen participation.