Oct 14, 2021

New Orleans, Louisiana, Community Organizations Launch 3 Anti-Flooding Projects

According to the analysis, every dollar invested in green infrastructure projects in New Orleans produces six times higher returns in economic, social and environmental benefits. 

new orleans

Water Wise Gulf South, Healthy Community Services and other Black-led community organizations in New Orleans, Louisiana, released an economic feasibility report.

The report, The Benefits of Community-Driven Green Infrastructure, analyzes the economic benefits of investing in green infrastructure projects to prepare communities for events such as urban flooding, reported The Kresge Foundation.

The report was prepared by Earth Economics, The Kresge Foundation and the Institute for Sustainable Communities.

According to the analysis, every dollar invested in green infrastructure projects in New Orleans produces six times higher returns in economic, social and environmental benefits. 

“We expect people — particularly Black and Brown communities — to be resilient following a natural disaster. What we really need is resilient green infrastructure to prevent flooding damage and help communities recover faster and more equitably,” said Angela Chalk, executive director of Healthy Community Services, reported The Kresge Foundation. “It’s time for the local, state and federal government to start listening to our communities and invest in solutions to build equitable and lasting green infrastructure that creates enormous economic opportunity.”

Advertisement

The groups are hosting a groundbreaking event for a new storm water drainage system in New Orleans’ 7th Ward, at the intersection of Saint Bernard Avenue and North Claiborne. This is one of three anti-flooding development projects in New Orleans’ most impacted neighborhoods, the 7th and Upper 9th Wards and Tremé. 

There have been 150 local green infrastructure installations in the past seven years, and the three developments are designed to collect millions of gallons of rainwater, reported The Kresge Foundation.  No taxpayer dollars were used for this project. Instead, in addition to the report, the projects also received backing from The Kresge Foundation and the Institute for Sustainable Communities.

According to the report, the storm water storage capacity of trees planted as planned by the economic report amounts to an additional 1 million gallons of water storage each year. More green infrastructure projects in New Orleans’ 7th and 9th Ward and Treme neighborhoods could collect more than 6.5 million gallons of water, added the research.

The report focuses on BIPOC voices, showing how initiatives developed by communities on the front lines of climate change can be the most effective. Many Black communities bear the physical and economic burden of urban flooding, added the report. This is exemplified with Hurricane Katrina causing the most extensive damage to NOLA’s Black neighborhoods and Hurricane Ida, which caused severe flooding and left communities of color without power for weeks.

Read related content about flooding:

expand_less