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Defining Louisiana’s Coastal Zone: A Science-Based Evaluation of the Louisiana Coastal Zone Inland Boundary PowerPoint Presentation
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Presenting the results of the study authorized by SCR 60 to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority August 18, 2010. Defining Louisiana’s Coastal Zone: A Science-Based Evaluation of the Louisiana Coastal Zone Inland Boundary. Department of Natural Resources

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Presenting the results of the study authorized by SCR 60 to the

Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

August 18, 2010

Defining Louisiana’s Coastal Zone:A Science-Based Evaluation of theLouisiana Coastal Zone Inland Boundary

Department of Natural Resources

Office of Coastal Management

Louis Buatt

Assistant Secretary

Terry Howey

Coastal Resources Administrator

Dr. Rachael Hunter

Comite Resources, Inc.

Oneil Malbrough

Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc.

provisions of senate concurrent resolution 60
Provisions of Senate Concurrent Resolution 60
  • Requests the CPRA to conduct a comprehensive science-based review and analysis of the inland boundary of the Louisiana coastal zone.
  • Use existing data sets to conduct the study.
  • Consider physical, chemical, and biological data to define the limits of coastal processes.
  • Consider social, economic and cultural factors in conducting the study.
  • Prepare a report to Louisiana Legislature with findings.
  • Requests state and federal agencies, universities, NGOs, business and industry to assist and cooperate by providing access to information and data to facilitate this study.
study strategy guiding principles
Study Strategy:Guiding Principles
  • CPRA resolution tasks DNR’s Office of Coastal Management to undertake the study.
  • Engage expert technical assistance to assist OCM in completing study.
  • Establish Stakeholder Advisory Group to provide additional input into data acquisition and methodology of study.
  • Seek public stakeholder input through presentations at OCPR stakeholder workshops.
  • Develop and utilize an unbiased, scientific analytical methodology to generate an area subject to coastal processes.
  • Minimize the need for new regulatory authorities.
  • Maximize the ability to implement the Master Plan through the state Louisiana Coastal Resources Program (LCRP).
outcome objective maximize effectiveness minimize intrusiveness
Outcome Objective:Maximize Effectiveness – Minimize Intrusiveness
  • Provide the most accurate science-based delineation of the coastal zone possible with the resources available.
  • Maximize the state’s ability to implement the Master Plan using coastal zone management tools of the Louisiana Coastal Resources Program.
  • Incorporate socioeconomic factors into the evaluation.
  • Minimize increasing the regulatory burden to stakeholders.

Methodology:Economics in the Coastal Zone

    • Oil and Gas Industry
    • 1st in oil production
    • 2nd in marketed gas production
    • 3rd in natural gas reserves
    • 2% of total US crude oil reserves
    • 5% of US natural gas reserves
    • 320,000 oil and gas industry jobs
    • Producing $12.7 billion in household income
    • Creating $70.2 billion in sales for LA companies
  • Chemical Industry
    • 26,000 jobs
  • Maritime Industry
    • 1st in water transportation (tonnage) by state
    • The Port of South Louisiana is the largest single port in the U.S.
    • The ports of New Orleans, Lake Charles, Greater Baton Rouge and Plaquemines all are in the top 15.
  • Commercial and Recreational Fishing
  • Tourism
  • Outdoor Recreation
project approach interdisciplinary research team
Project Approach: Interdisciplinary Research Team
  • Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Office of Coastal Management

With assistance from the following:

Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc.

Comite Resources, Inc.

Louisiana Sea Grant Law and Policy Program


project approach tasks
Project Approach:Tasks
  • Data Acquisition: Literature review, seek out available data sets from state and federal agencies, non governmental organizations, business and industry and conduct stakeholder advisory and group and public stakeholder meetings.
  • Data Compilation and Analysis: Assemble and compile data sets into compatible GIS formats and develop the methodology for data analysis of GIS layers. Select and prioritize data sets and criteria for analyses for tiered management.
  • Data Interpretation and Final Report Preparation:Organize and evaluate analytical results into coherent science-based alternative scenarios for presentation to LCPRA and Louisiana legislature.

Methodology: Scientific Criteria

  • 2010
  • Geology
  • Vegetation
  • Elevation (5’, 8’ & 10’)
  • STATSGO Soils
  • Inundation - storm surge (SLOSH Model)
  • Predicted subsidence/sea level rise
  • Watershed boundaries
  • Boundaries of existing coastal programs


  • Geology
  • Vegetation
  • Elevation (5’ & 25’)
  • Soils
  • 100 yr flood
  • Salinity (inland extent)
  • Range of brackish water clam, blue crab, fish (e.g., Striped mullet), birds (migrating waterfowl), mammals (e.g., Eastern mole), reptiles (e.g., Fence lizard)
It was widely believed that the inland boundary of the coastal zone was, from the start, insufficient to adequately manage Louisiana’s coastal resources due to three primary deficiencies:

Water quality in the coastal zone can be significantly affected by upstream activities

Some parishes, or parts of parishes, not in the coastal zone have the same physical and biological characteristics as lands inside the coastal zone

Riparian areas along rivers and streams that influence the coastal zone were not included

Current Coastal Zone Boundary:


methodology framework

An updated inland Coastal Zone Boundary should encompass:

all areas subject to coastal processes; and

all uses which have the potential to impact coastal waters.

The degree of management needed will vary by location and use.

Therefore, a tiered approach is proposed, with each tier defined by science-based parameters and criteria to determine regulatory and non-regulatory policies and management scenarios.

Delineating an expanded coastal zone boundary with two levels of management would correct the deficiencies of an outdated coastal zone boundary that was established in an era when the importance of coastal resources, particularly for storm surge protection, was not fully appreciated.

The Louisiana Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast established integrated coastal protection as essential to the future of Louisiana. The Coastal Zone Boundary and the Coastal Zone Management Program should work in tandem with the Master Plan.

  • Methodology:Framework
methodology proposed hierarchical management approach
Methodology:Proposed HierarchicalManagement Approach

Coastal Use Permit (CUP): Management primarily by the Coastal Use Permitting procedure.

Intergovernmental Coordination (IGC): Management primarily by means of the Consistency Determination procedure.

Watershed Planning (WSP): Management primarily through incentive programs and planning initiatives.

methodology data analysis scoring criteria
Methodology:Data Analysis / Scoring Criteria
  • The study area was defined as all watersheds that touch the coast, and divided into one kilometer square cells (91,648).
  • Queries were run on the nine data sets and a value was assigned to each cell.
  • These cells were grouped according to the four levels of coastal influence and color coded for visual display.
methodology data queries
Methodology:Data Queries

Is any part of the 1-km2 area at or below the line of contact between Pleistocene and Holocene sediments?

Is any part of the 1-km2 area within the current coastal zone?

Is any part of the 1-km2 area within the boundary of the existing CNPCP area?

Does the 1-km2 area contain emergent herbaceous wetlands (fresh, intermediate, brackish or salt marsh)?

Is any part of the 1-km2 area contained within the inland extent of storm surge per the Maximum of MEOWs (MOMs) map?

Is any part of the 1-km2 area at an elevation of 5 feet or lower?

Is any part of the 1-km2 area at an elevation of 8 feet or lower?

Is any part of the 1-km2 area at an elevation of 10 feet or lower?

Does the 1-km2 area contain soils classified as floodplains?

Data Query: Is any part of the cell at or below the line of contact between Pleistocene and Holocene sediments?
Data Query: Does the cell contain emergent herbaceous wetlands (fresh, intermediate, brackish or salt marsh)?
Data Query: Does any part of the cell contain soils classified as floodplains, marsh, backswamps or water?
Data Queries: Is any part of the cell at an elevation of: 5 feet or lower? 8 feet or lower? 10 feet or lower?
sea level rise areas at lower elevations are vulnerable
Sea Level Rise: Areas at LowerElevations are vulnerable
  • 3 ft expected sea level rise over next century
  • Area below 5 ft may become wetland
  • What’s 8 ft now will be 5 ft by end of century
Data Query: Is any part of the cell within the boundary of the existing Coastal Non-Point Source Pollution Control area?
Data Query: Is any part of the cell contained within the inland extent of storm surge per the SLOSH model outputs?
methodology adjustments to czb
Methodology:Adjustments to CZB
  • Science-Based Boundary
  • Political boundaries (e.g., parish boundary)
  • Geographic boundaries (e.g., road)
  • Local Government Coordination and input
  • Socioeconomic considerations
methodology socio economic considerations
Methodology:Socio-economic Considerations

An examination of the available socio-economic data data sets was conducted and considered when the science-based boundary was adjusted

to fall along readily recognizable

geographic features such as roadways,

waterways, etc. and in discussions

with local governments to identify

site specific considerations

for further refinements

to the final boundary


Location of Louisiana Ports



CUP Management Area:Changes in Area Subject to CUP

  • Adoption of the CUP area proposed updated inland boundary would add only a single parish, a portion of Ascension, to the area now subject to coastal use permitting.
  • The area subject to CUP would increase in the following parishes:

Calcasieu Cameron Iberia St. Mary St. Martin

Terrebonne Lafourche Assumption Ascension

  • The area subject to CUP would decrease in the following parishes:
    • Livingston Tangipahoa
  • The area subject to CUP would not change in the following parishes:
    • St. James St. Charles St. John the Baptist Jefferson Orleans St. Bernard Plaquemines
potential benefits coastal zone cup area
Potential Benefits:Coastal Zone/CUP Area
  • Parishes in the coastal zone receive priority funding for structural and non-structural projects. Non-structural project include coastal protection options such as building elevation, buy-out and smart growth program.
  • Sustainable development through coastal zone management in areas where restoration projects and other Master Plan measures will be implemented is another important benefit.
    • Uncoordinated development, such as has occurred along upper Bayou Lafourche, can lead to additional challenges and increase the cost of restoration projects.
    • The cost of re-introducing freshwater into Bayou Lafourche was increased tremendously by the need to dredge the bayou in order to resolve flooding and bank stability challenges created by unmanaged development in the riparian zone and adjoining water bottoms.
  • Hierarchical management will provide addition benefits by allowing targeted management appropriate to location and use.
potential benefits cup management area
Potential Benefits:CUP Management Area
  • CUP applicants are eligible for federal USACE Programmatic General Permit (PGP) approvals, providing "one stop permit shop" permitting for wetlands projects.
  • Projects in this area may receive priority consideration for state restoration project selection.
  • Parishes eligible to receive funding for ongoing implementation of Local Coastal Programs.
  • Activities subject to full force and power of state’s federal consistency authority under CZMA.
  • Nineteen original coastal parishes continue to be eligible for direct Gulf of Mexico Energy Securities Act (GOMESA) funding.
  • Parishes in this area with an approved Local Coastal Program (LCP) process CUPs for local concern uses.
  • More opportunities and options for certain mitigation activities may be available.
  • Permit tracking available through OCM web-based system.
potential benefits igc management area
Potential Benefits:IGC Management Area
  • Area eligible for consideration for restoration.
  • Parishes added to this area become eligible for state portion of GOMESA, if available.
  • Activities subject to limited federal consistency CZMA authority under CZMA to direct actions of government.
  • More opportunities and options for certain mitigation activities may be available.
  • Provide increased consistency with Master Plan goals in the IGC management area by oversight in the broader coastal zone for riparian activities and hydrologic modifications by governmental bodies which could affect Master Plan implementation.
summary area change by parish
Summary:Area Change by Parish
  • The proposed CUP area would result in a net increase of 1,997 mi2.
  • The USGS has projected land loss in coastal Louisiana to be 2,038 mi2 between the years 1956-2050.
  • Assuming the projections are correct, if the proposed CUP boundary were to be adopted, the land area of the CUP management area could actually be 41 mi2 smaller in the year 2050 than it was in 1956.
summary next steps
Summary:Next Steps
  • CPRA proposed public review and comment period (August/September 2010)
  • Approval by CPRA with suggested minor changes (October 2010)
  • Statutory changes needed to adopt updated coastal zone as recommended by CPRA (2011 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislative)
  • Effective date of changes to CZB (January 2012)
summary implementation mechanisms
Summary:Implementation Mechanisms
  • Currently, the Louisiana coastal zone is defined by statute at La. R.S. 49:214.24: the inland boundary description is found at 49:214.24(C).
  • If approved, the updated coastal zone boundary could be implemented through statue or rule making.
  • Other coastal states have used rule making, statutes and other methods in establishing their coastal zone.
  • The statute method is more often used when the boundary is simple and based on establish political subdivisions, such as county lines or city limits.
  • Rule making is the more often used when the boundary requires a meets and bounds description or is based on landscape features rather than political boundaries.
summary implementation mechanisms46
Summary:Implementation Mechanisms
  • Rule making is the most common method used. Many states provide a brief description of the boundary in their coastal management program’s enabling legislation and make reference to the state’s NOAA approved coastal management plan for the full description.
  • Alabama, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Texas all use the administrative rule making process to define their coastal zones.
  • Mississippi, Georgia and Florida use the statute method since their coastal zones consist of certain coastal counties.
  • The state of Indiana’s coastal zone is defined in the state’s coastal zone management document that was approved by NOAA. Their coastal zone management program operates pursuant to that document and is not codified by statute or administrative rule.
summary implementation mechanisms47
Summary:Implementation Mechanisms
  • Regardless of the implementation approach chosen, statutory changes to La. R.S. 49:214.24(C) will be required to update Louisiana’s coastal zone.
  • One modification to the current coastal zone boundary has already been authorized. The Louisiana Legislature amended La. R.S. 49:213.24(C) in the 2010 Regular Session with the passage of Senate Bill No. 65, enrolled as Act No. 956, which established that:
    • “ The inland boundary of the coastal zone shall also include all or any portions of the parishes of Ascension or Iberville recommended for inclusion in the coastal zone by the final report of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana prepared in response to Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 60 of the 2009 Regular Session.”
    • Pursuant to this act, Ascension Parish shall be incorporated into the Louisiana Coastal Zone six months following approval of the boundary change for that parish by the CPRA.
summary implementation mechanisms48
Summary:Implementation Mechanisms
  • The entire coastal boundary could be updated by the Louisiana Legislature using similar language to amended the appropriate sections of La. R.S. 49:213.24.
  • The official boundary map authorized by the Legislature should be maintained by the Office of Coastal Management and made available in GIS format to the public on the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources website.

Dr. Terry Howey

Coastal Resources Administrator