From flood risk mitigation to water management, CPEX provides technical assistance and publishes resources to foster a harmonious relationship between Louisianians and our water resources, both inland and along our coast.


Climate Change Adaptation Manual for Louisiana

Communities' flood recovery efforts, updates to existing infrastructure, building of new infrastructure, and development of community goals should all be leveraged as opportunities to increase resilience. The built environment of the future must be able to weather the anticipated increases in heat waves, droughts, heavy rain events, and floods in Louisiana. The Manual covers current and future risks Louisiana's communities face, and provides policy and program recommendations for elected officials and policy makers, local governments, and residents to reduce current and future risks and build the resilience needed to keep Louisiana’s communities viable and vibrant. We also included tool examples to assist with implementing the recommendations and highlight local and national best practices. We encourage each reader to think about the content of this document as a guide to begin building resilience - which requires that all scales are considered. We are all residents, neighbors, stakeholders, and community members and must do our part to reduce flood risks now and in the future.


The State Agency Resilience Building Workshop was developed in response to a key finding of the 2017 Rising Above Symposium: stronger coordination is needed between the state and local jurisdictions as well as between state agencies themselves in order to advance a comprehensive approach to the coastal crisis that meets a broad range of evolving needs and leverages limited resources as effectively as possible. In partnership with the Governor’s office and cabinet-level officials from each agency, the State Agency workshop fostered a shared understanding of the full range of challenges related to the coastal crisis and engaged agency leaders in developing strategies for building the collaborative, comprehensive approach that is needed.  


CPEX recognizes that the climate and environmental challenges Louisiana faces are not limited to the coastal zone -- drought and flood risk are growing throughout the state. Working with the Louisiana Office of Community Development, we explored this issue in a Regional Watershed Management Workshop held at the 2018 Louisiana Smart Growth Summit. The workshop brought local practitioners and stakeholders together with national watershed management expertise and diverse perspectives on key issues. Participants shared their thoughts on what a new management approach could look like in the state and reached consensus on the importance of science-based decisions, flexibility in local strategies and implementation, and establishing minimum state-wide standards.  

louisiana Transformation: Resilience IN ACTION WORKSHOP (2018)

The concept of “a more resilient Louisiana” is foundational to all of CPEX’s efforts. To articulate what that means and assess how resilience can be achieved, CPEX and Climate Solutions founder Joyce Coffee hosted the Resilience in Action Workshop at the 2018 Smart Growth Summit. Stakeholders from across sectors and geographies came together to identify assets and gaps, and establish priorities for action, which included improving communication about risk and adaptation strategies, encouraging long-term thinking, preparing receiving communities, increasing collaboration among organizations and agencies, and keeping equity at the forefront of all decision-making.


Changing the status quo isn’t easy. To help facilitate a shift towards decision-making that supports a more resilient future, CPEX worked with Dr. Denise Reed to develop Advancing Community Adaptation: A Framework for Project Prioritization and Decision Making. The framework is based on the idea that in this era of growing risk and constrained resources, projects cannot be judged solely on their ability to reduce risk; their impact on social networks, critical facilities and essential services, transportation needs, and the environment must also be considered. 

Rising Above: Coastal Adaptation Survey (2017)

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CPEX’s 2017 survey of coastal stakeholders revealed that community needs and aspirations vary widely, so a one-size-fits-all approach to adaptation and mitigation will not work.  Context is key to developing effective programs and policies.

Rising Above Symposium - Summary of Proceedings (2017)

The Rising Above Symposium brought stakeholders from three very different Louisiana coastal communities together with state officials and subject matter experts to identify the challenges unique to each community and strategies for addressing those unique needs.

Rising Above Resilient Recovery Policy Series (2017)

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This series of issue briefs aims to inform and support ongoing flood recovery efforts and long term resilience-building for communities throughout Louisiana. Produced with support from the Walton Family Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Rising Above series will highlight best planning practices and implementation tools that state and local leaders can use within our specific geographic, regulatory, political, and cultural context. These papers will assist state agencies, elected officials, and local leaders in maximizing the returns on investment of limited recovery dollars by incorporating resilience-building measures into the recovery process and daily governmental operations.

the Community Rating System: Making it Work for Louisiana (2016)

This report is the first in a series of issue briefs designed to further the conversation on building resilience in our region and inform critical decisions being made throughout the recovery and rebuilding process. It explores reasons behind the CRS’s low participation rate in Louisiana, details the benefits of this incentive program to individuals and communities, and provides recommendations for maximizing the economic and risk mitigation benefits for Louisiana communities. 


The Jean Lafitte Flood Preparedness Toolkit provides information, guidelines and recommended regulations to reduce flood risk. This document consolidates information and recommendations from several sources into one clear and easy to understand Toolkit specific to predominant conditions in Jean Lafitte. The Toolkit provides information on key issues to consider during the building and site design and development process to educate and inform homeowners, builders, and the Town on how to best protect assets against future floods and reduce repetitive losses. Understanding key criteria, site conditions, and existing building characteristics will help determine whether to flood proof, elevate, or rebuild, and how best to do so. 


The Flood Emergency Preparedness Plan (FEPP) builds off a long history and knowledge of living with water. It suggests tools and strategies that will enable Lafitte's residents to continue to live in harmony with an environment that continues to be threatened by natural and man made events. The FEPP leverages existing planning work at the state, parish, and municipality levels to situate such projects and programs within Jean Lafitte's unique risk profile.


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This report builds on The Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Embracing Opportunity: An Analysis of Efforts to Meet Capital Region Workforce Demands, which identifies training programs that are certifying workers for many of the most in-demand jobs in the Capital Region, and quantifies the need for expansion of some of these programs if we are to close the gap between our local supply of qualified workers and rapidly growing demand for skilled labor. CPEX's Entering the Pipeline highlights the need for a similar expansion and enhancement of programs designed to help disconnected workers in the Capital Region who need assistance to become job-ready, access transportation that connects them to opportunities, and enter the workforce.


Providing the link between local and state-level decision making, this document combines community-level risk-reduction perspectives with actionable recommendations. The recommendations are intended to enable existing state and federal programs to be more responsive to community needs and better serve local decision makers in their efforts to mitigate flood damage and increase safety for those living along Louisiana’s working coast.



As a boom in industrial and commercial investment is anticipated along the Baton Rouge-to-New Orleans corridor, transportation infrastructure and planning issues are more pressing than ever.

Connecting workers to training and employment opportunities, and connecting employers and businesses to the labor and markets they depend on are essential to ensuring that the benefits of growth are shared and sustainable, and quality of life is improved for all.


Lafourche Parish is located in southeast Louisiana approximately 90 minutes south of Baton Rouge and one hour west of New Orleans. Known for its “longest main street in the world (Bayou Lafourche), the Parish’s culture has been influenced by its Native, Cajun, French and Spanish heritages. The Lafourche Parish landscape features marshes, sandy ridges, bodies of water, and natural levees, home to a wide range of wildlife such as deer, nutria, alligators, fish and shellfish.


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.

best practices manual for development in COASTAL LOUISIANA (2012)

To assist Louisiana’s coastal communities’ efforts to preserve their unique cultures and economies, CPEX developed a series of Geotypes that categorize the distinct landscapes found across southern Louisiana and illustrate how the various natural environments have shaped community development. Adapted from local, national, and international best practices, CPEX developed strategies to reduce risks for each Geotype. The Geotypes and the strategies appropriate are clearly explained in the Best Practices Manual, designed to be accessible to a wide range of decision makers and stakeholders.

Louisiana coastal land use toolkit (2012)

The Coastal Land Use Toolkit contains development and redevelopment standards that are similar to the Louisiana Land Use Toolkit, but focus on hazard mitigation and natural resource protection in the coastal areas.

These standards can be implemented cafeteria-style to assist communities with handling water where it falls to manage excess storm water and the risk of flooding

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The Louisiana Land Use Toolkit is an online resource for local jurisdictions. The Toolkit contains a model set of development regulations that can be used to help guide future growth and development in an sustainable and economically competitive manner. The Toolkit is a shared resource from which parishes and municipalities can adopt a complete development code or select cafeteria-style from individual tools that meet their specific needs.

Learn more old south Baton Rouge Implementation Guide for economic drivers through arts & culture


The Old South Baton Rouge neighborhood is a historic community between downtown Baton Rouge and Louisiana State University. This three-squaremile area of approximately 11,800 residents is both culturally and historically rich, but suburban growth and increased mobility led to steady population decline over the past several decades, causing many residents to seek opportunities outside of their community.