The images of residents gathered on rooftops to escape flood waters are indelible 10 years after Hurricane Katrina buffeted New Orleans. In the years since, the city has moved ahead with resilience strategies that may become a model for other communities.
The Louisiana Audubon and a coalition of other environmental groups recently released a report on what has been done and where more needs to be invested to prepare the area for the next big storm. More than $14 billion went towards rebuilding the levees and other flood protections and the result has been called "best flood control system of any coastal community."
The formation of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and the creation of a state coastal master plan have led to a long-term approach to achieving a sustainable coast. The plan, to be updated every five years, focuses on coastal protection and restoration projects.
Other resiliency efforts include raising individual houses out of the flood plain and educating the public about storm safety and response. For example, Terrebonne Parish won funding through Federal Emergency Management Agency grants and state programs to raise more than 1,000 homes.