Jean Lafitte, Louisiana is a coastal town with a unique blend of history, natural beauty, local culture, and industry threatened by impending sea level rise. Named after imfamous pirate Jean Lafitte who is said to have hidden his booty in the bayous of Louisiana, the town builds on its founder's noteriety as an economic and cultural tool.
With 44% of residents' families having lived in the area for 3 or more generations, Jean Lafitte offers a traditional lifestyle with jobs in the shrimping, fishing, oil and gas, and trapping industries. However, recent natural and economic events have led Jean Lafitte to the front line of climatic and industrial shifts.
The town's leadership, in partnership with CPEX, pursued grant fund to develop a proactive strategy to diversify their economy, increase employment opportunities, celebrate their history, protect the health of the bayou, prepare for storms, and foster the area's unique local culture at a time that presents both challenges and opportunities.
CPEX assisted with the selection of a planning firm and conducted public outreach to engage citizens in the planning process.
Led by Dover, Kohl & Partners, the community plan was informed by previous and new studies, on-the-ground research, and stakeholder input to create a roadmap and implementation matrix towards economic, social, and environmental resiliency. The process and outcomes are described in the "Jean Lafitte Tomorrow" Town Resiliency Plan - which was unanimously adopted by the Town Council in April, 2013.
Following adoption, town leadership has used the plan to diversify its economy and focus on development in the heart of town, and to secure funding for flood risk reduction measures. The community has also engaged CPEX to develop additional guides for implementing risk reduction strategies.