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Flood Risk and Economic Opportunity: Moving Forward in a Changing Louisiana

Authors: Rachel Correll*, Louisiana State University, Nina S. N. Lam, Louisiana State University, Lei Zou, Texas A&M University, Volodymyr Mihunov, Louisiana State University, Heng Cai, Louisiana State University
Topics: Environmental Science, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: Flood, Managed retreat, survey, Southern Louisiana
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Louisiana’s coastline is changing. The people living in low lying regions are being pushed closer to deciding whether to armor their homes against the increasing flood threats or decide to leave the area for safer ground. We examined the perception of flood risk for residents in 24 parishes of Southern Louisiana and the influence that it has on migration consideration. Through this telephone survey of 1,125 residents in the Lower Mississippi River Delta, 21.5% of the respondents were considering moving. The survey identified that flood risk and the economy are both top reasons for people in their consideration of migration. We created a model to predict the individuals and communities that are most likely to consider moving. The model can help inform recommendations made in the 2017 Coastal Master Plan and local, state, and federal governments in identifying these communities. Building a knowledge bridge between communities that are considering moving and the incentives that may be available to help them relocate as well as the communities most likely to stay and will need greater resources as the flood risk increases due to climate change will be key. We present ways in which to build that bridge from the communities to the government rather than from the top down with the knowledge that the model provides.

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