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Coastal Environment

A man is seen on a boat in one of the lakes in the Greater New Orleans area

Coastal Environment Programs

Along with the many benefits that come with a coastal environment, there are distinct challenges facing Greater New Orleans, including coastal land loss as well as flooding and water management challenges.

GNO, Inc. approaches these issues from an economic perspective—protecting the assets and businesses of the region, while also looking for opportunities that arise from the knowledge and expertise our region and people gain while tackling these challenges.

Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy

Recognizing the absence of a unified voice from the greater business community advocating for Coastal Restoration, GNO, Inc. created Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy.  This neutral, non-partisan group of leaders from the Southeast Louisiana business community is positioned as an informed, educated voice of advocacy for sustainable restoration efforts in Louisiana’s wetlands, river, delta and coastline.

CCRE Mission

  • Market the business case for coastal restoration in Louisiana
  • Maximize and leverage dedicated funding and ensure funds are spent on their intended purposes (Louisiana Coastal Master Plan)
  • Create opportunities to engage local businesses and workforce in the implementation

CCRE Principles

  • Track flow of funding to intended uses
  • Communicate in lay terms the urgency of coastal restoration and critical restoration projects
  • Advocate on the federal, state, and local level for sustainable coastal restoration solutions
  • Foster the growth of coastal restoration expertise along Louisiana coast, increasing commerce for local firms

Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan

Greater New Orleans has always contended with flooding from rainfall, but new challenges—from changing climate and rising seas, to an increasingly overburdened and outdated drainage system—will test the ability to adapt, survive, and thrive.

When rainwater falls on New Orleans, it is captured, piped, and pumped out as quickly and completely as possible. But a system designed to pump out every last drop of water leaves our ground unnaturally and unsafely dry, causing the continued sinking of our land, known as subsidence. Not only does subsidence result in cracked streets and broken foundations, it also brings us further below sea level, increases our flood risk, and places even greater burden on our pumps. When it rains we flood; when it’s dry we sink.

Instead of focusing solely on pumping capacity, we must replace the current and entrenched mentality of “pave, pipe, and pump” with the idea of “slow, store, and use”: hold water where it falls, slow the flow into our drainage system, and store large volumes for infiltration and repurposing.

In this re-envisioned system, grey and green infrastructure work together in a more comprehensive, efficient, and effective approach to urban water management. By pumping only when necessary and allowing as much rainwater as possible to infiltrate our soils, we can reduce flooding risk, improve the efficiency of our drainage system, and restore groundwater levels to curtail subsidence.

The Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, can be found at livingwithwater.com.

Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance

GNO, Inc. believes stability, availability and affordability of flood insurance is a critical component of a thriving business environment. To that end, GNO, Inc. established the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance (CSFI) in 2013, in response to implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act, which created unaffordable and unsustainable National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) premiums across the country. Check out more information on CSFI.