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Louisiana Watershed Management

Full Title: Incorporating co-benefits and costs to coastal hazard mitigation decision making

This project will develop a cost-benefit framework for watershed management that will inform and reduce uncertainties during project selection of the Louisiana Watershed Initiative.

Tickfaw State Park
Photo by Rachelle Sanderson
A post-2016 Flood photo from Denham Springs,
Photo by Rachelle Sanderson

Lead Investigator: Rachelle Sanderson, Capital Region Planning Commission,

Natural Resource Managers: Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Office of Community Development, and Capital Region Planning Commission

Project Team:  Thomas Douthat (Louisiana State University), Jerrod Penn (LSU and LSU Agricultural Center), Ridgely Meyers (Pontchartrain Conservancy), and Brady Skaggs (Pontchartrain Conservancy)

Federal Program Officer/Point of Contact: Frank Parker (

Award Amount: $115,482

Award Period: This project began in September 2021 and will end in August 2023.

Why it matters: An executive order from Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards asks five state agencies to coordinate around statewide flood risk by managing regional watersheds through the Louisiana Watershed Initiative (LWI). This project will inform the third round of LWI watershed management projects — a selection process that will occur in 2026. 

What the team is doing: The project team will research and develop a cost-benefit framework for watershed management that will inform and reduce uncertainties during LWI project selection. The team will also identify data, resources, and other information that may inform the integration of this cost-benefit tool into management. 

Expected outcome: The project team will organize a series of planning workshops with natural resource managers and other stakeholders to inform watershed management. Research and development as well as implementation plans will be developed from workshop discussions.

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