- Multidisciplinary knowledge integration to support Louisiana coastal indigenous communities'
response to natural and technological disasters and adaptation to climate change (NAS
Gulf Research Program)
The project team plans to collaborate with two United Houma Nation communities to
document how environmental stressors affect the livelihoods of these communities and
shape the mitigation strategies they use to protect their coastal lands. The researchers,
in collaboration with the tribe, will make use of traditional ecological knowledge,
and examine local adaptation plans, and current mitigation efforts in order to understand
the tribe's adaptive capacities now and into the future. They intend to produce a
resource that can be used by the United Houma Nation and other indigenous communities
facing similar challenges. This work may encourage other mitigation and adaption planning
efforts and increase communication between communities and policymakers.
- Community Rating System Strategy for the State of Louisiana (GOHSEP)
CHART received a grant to develop a CRS Strategy for the State of Louisiana. The CRS,
or Community Rating System, is a series of floodplain management activities that help
communities to reduce flooding and receive discounts on flood insurance. Developing
a strategy for the state will help to coordinate flood reduction efforts and aid communities
in receiving higher discounts on flood insurance.
- Evacuation & Return: Increasing Safety and Reducing Risk (FTA through City of New
In partnership with the City of New Orleans and the Regional Transit Authority, the
team will assess current evacuation transportation planning and related assets with
a specific focus on vulnerable populations. We will also examine how technology and
risk communication practices can serve all community members.
- Community Rating System (CRS) User Group Support
The CRS, a voluntary program available to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
participating communities, provides incentives for communities to go beyond the minimum
floodplain management regulations established by the NFIP to minimize risk. The purpose
of a CRS User's Group is to serve as a support and educational resource for local
communities who participate in the CRS. UNO-CHART facilitates two separate CRS User's
Groups in Louisiana; one around the Lake Pontchartrain area, and one in the Baton
Rouge area. These two groups are comprised of only 16 of the 42 CRS participating
communities in of Louisiana, but make up almost half of the total CRS discounts in
the State. Groups are comprised of local officials who have been designated as CRS
Coordinator for their communities. UNO-CHART provides support through facilitation
of meetings and research.
- Repetitive Floodloss Reduction Project for the State of LA/TX – Post Hurricane Katrina
This project focuses on working with communities to reduce their numbers of repetitive
losses (per FEMA's definition of repetitive loss) through three major deliverables:
(1) website and web-based data portal, (2) area analysis, (3) outreach.
- Sea Level Rise Visualization Tool Application (Mississippi/Alabama Sea Grant)
The goal of this project is to support coastal sustainability through a better understanding
of coastal ecosystems using local knowledge. The project team collaborates with coastal
residents to develop adaptation strategies utilizing remotes sensing, GIS and interviews.
Residents identify key points and resources which are at risk, and discuss ways they
have adapted to land loss and sea level rise, as well as ways they may adapt to these
hazards in the future.
Recently Completed Projects
- Community Education & Outreach (FEMA through GOHSEP)
UNO-CHART has been funded to implement mitigation outreach and education projects
intended to inform citizens, business owners, non-profit organizations, and local
officials about the risks to which they are vulnerable and ways in which those risks
can be reduced through multiple mitigation methods. Each of the following five projects
will work towards increasing the overall awareness of the ability to address potential
disasters before they happen: Continuity Contingency Planning and Mitigation for Community
Organizations: Businesses, Government Agencies, Faith Organizations and Non-Profit
Groups; Campus-Wide Coastal Hazards Resiliency Curriculum & Development of Hazard
Mitigation Planning Curriculum; Risk Literacy; Disaster Resilient University State-Wide
Conference; Community Executives Program in Storm Risk Management.
- Blending Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (Sci-TEK) to Support Ecosystem
Restoration (NOAA-CREST, MS/AL Sea Grant, LA Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration)
By combining local knowledge with physical science, UNO-CHART, in partnership with
UNO-PIES, La-OCPR, and residents, developed a methodology, Sci-TEK, to better inform
coastal restoration decision-making process. This allowed for the integration of traditional
ecological knowledge with physical science measures that were mapped and incorporated
into the current planning process.
- Mississippi/Alabama Sea Grant Sea Level Rise Visualization Tool Application (Partnering
This project worked to bring the newly released Sea Level Rise Visualization Tool
to coastal residents to assess its usefulness and to discuss with residents the impacts
of the projected sea level rise. Residents identified key points and resources which
are at risk and discussed ways they have adapted in the past to land loss and sea
level rise, as well as ways they may adapt to these new predictions. All findings
will be incorporated into GIS and given back to MS/AL Sea Grant in order for them
to make modifications to the tool that may improve its usability.
- Coastal Restoration Companies and the RESTORE Act – A Telephone Survey (Environmental
Louisiana and the other Gulf Coast states are expected to receive significant new
funding to support coastal restoration work through the Deepwater Horizon payments
and settlements. We seek to collect information from businesses that will inform us
on the issues relating to the economic impact, long-term success and implementation
of projects to sustain sensitive coastal areas.
- The Socioeconomic Effects of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Gulf Coast Communities
UNO-CHART is examining the impact of the BP Deepwater Horizon Macondo oil well blowout
and disaster on the affected Gulf Coast communities. The goal is to show the array
of impacts and portray a sense of the severity of each type of impact experienced
- Hazard Mitigation Project Scoping & Plan Amendment (DHS-FEMA/GOHSEP)
Through this grant, UNO-CHART will assist the University in identifying, evaluating,
prioritizing, and scoping potential mitigation projects for our campus.
- Hazard Mitigation Plan for the UNO Satellite Locations (DHS-FEMA/GOHSEP)
In 2006, UNO-CHART led the development of a FEMA approved Mitigation Plan for the
University's main campus. This grant allows us to assist the University in creating
a Plan for its satellite locations.
- Reconsidering the "New Normal": Impact of Trauma on Urban Ecological and Social Diversity
(NSF – subcontract to Tulane University)
In collaboration with Tulane and Xavier Universities, CHART is conducting an NSF-funded
interdisciplinary research project on the impacts of traumatic events on social and
ecological diversity, with New Orleans utilized as a case study. CHART's role on this
project is to collect neighborhood-level data in the Lower 9th Ward, Hollygrove, and
Pontchartrain Park neighborhoods, to trace the social networks, and to conduct comparative
analyses of pre- and post-event diversity.
- Community Engagement for Storm Risk Reduction (LaDOTD)
State floodplain managers will partner with university faculty and personnel to engage
the range of flood risk stakeholders in two communities - eastern and western part
of Louisiana so that all partners can grow in capacity to support and collaborate
on risk reduction planning and implementation.
- Analysis of Stafford Act Performance for Catastrophe (Ford Foundation)
Extensive concern has been expressed by governments, citizen victims and non-governmental
organizations about the manner in which the federal government, and the state and
local, responded to the catastrophe of hurricane Katrina. Systematic analysis of these
issues is being undertaken.
- Evaluation of Project, “Toward a Successful Evacuation of the Entire New Orleans Community”
(Baptist Community Ministries/ARC)
This grant provides funds to conduct an evaluation of the project entitled “Our Brothers
Keeper (OBK)”, a faith-based evacuation project for the City of New Orleans. OBK project
partners include: American Red Cross, Regional Planning Commission, and Total Community
- Community Elevation Conversations(PERI)
A project to inform homeowners about elevating their homes to reduce flood risk, including
education about government funding and other resources, to encourage a greater number
of successful home elevations in the post-Katrina rebuilding process.
- Mitigation Funding and Homeowner Assistance (Solutient)
UNO-CHART is assisting Solutient in providing homeowner consultations regarding individual
mitigation programs and related funding. This project served residents of lower Jefferson
- SOARS (UCAR)
In partnership with SOARS, UNO-CHART engages university students from around the country
in a participatory action research model (PAR) in ethnically diverse, at risk, coastal
communities in Southeast Louisiana.
- The BP Horizon Oil Disaster: Media Accounts and Community Impacts (NSF)
UNO-CHART partnered with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette to address the following
research question: What is the impact of the media accounting on the ways that communities
come to understand the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster and are there intervening
factors that mitigate community adoption of the media accounting?
- Floodplain Management Policy & Program Evaluation (ASFPM)
UNO-CHART partnered with ASFPM to assist the Federal Interagency Floodplain Management
Task Force FIFM-TF in the task of identifying impacts and barriers of federal programs
with regard to achieving the goals of floodplain management, and those policies and
programs that promote and support sound floodplain management.
- Enhancing GOM Coastal Community Resiliency (NOAA)
This project employs a PAR (Participatory Action Research) methodology for building
local capacity in three South Louisiana coastal communities. The PAR methodology is
a hands-off approach to research; university researchers are able to work alongside
with community members over an extended time. There is a genuine respect for place,
ideas and culture.
- Resident-Driven Action Planning for Community Resiliency in Plaquemines Parish (Greater
New Orleans Foundation)
In partnership with residents of Plaquemines Parish, the UNO-CHART project team utilizes
Participatory Action Research methods to work towards increased citizen involvement
in the planning process for the Parish. The team works directly with the residents
to ensure that local knowledge and the community's own vision are included in the
multiple planning efforts that will have direct effects on Plaquemines Parish.
- Local Coastal Zone Management Capacity Post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: A Comparative
Study (Louisiana Sea Grant)
The hurricane events of 2005 have brought into critical focus the need to assess how
best to provide the necessary tools to build knowledge and local capabilities to meet
the needs of present and future challenges in coastal management in Louisiana. Following
after a pre-hurricane study of the effectiveness of Louisiana's Local Coastal Program
(LCP) in building local coastal zone management capacity in local decision-makers
(Norris-Raynbird, 2006), this study is aimed at gathering post-event comparison data
to examine the current status of Local Coastal Program development, knowledge of local
decision makers pertaining to coastal zone management issues and perceptions of vulnerability.
- How Safe/How Soon? Community Mitigation Implementation (Blue Moon Foundation via EDF)
In the process of considering reducing risk from coastal flooding, communities are
seeking support for a speedy response to more safe conditions by implementing non-structural
efforts complementary to levees. EDF seeks to support such best practices using UNO-CHART
and Tulane University Institute on Water Resources, Law and Policy to assist.