For Immediate Release: Nov. 7, 2007
Contact Justin Farrell
Ph: (225) 578-6348
Inaugural "Louisiana Levee School" Set
for Late November in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - A group of more than 35 levee board and district officials will be part of the inaugural class of the "Louisiana Levee School" or more formally called the Flood Protection and Ecosystem Restoration Professional Development Program to be held at the Louisiana Transportation Research Center located at 4101 Gourrier Ave. in Baton Rouge on November 27-29, 2007.
The three-day program hosted by the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Sea Grant, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is the first step in providing a professional development program to assist public agencies, including levee boards and districts, in fulfilling their statutory and fiduciary responsibilities in flood protection and ecosystem restoration. After initial training, participants will return annually for one-day continuing education.
The Levee School curriculum was developed by the LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant.
"Louisiana is going to be the world center of excellence in coastal restoration and flood protection," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle, who was instrumental in the creation and funding of the program. "We are starting with professional training of our appointees."
Topics to be covered include:
• Flood protection policy and administration
• Evolution of levee districts
• Structural flood protection
• Design, construction and maintenance of flood protection systems
• Hydrology, inland flooding, natural hazard modeling and climate forecasting
• Non-structural approaches to managing flood risk and damage.
"Hurricanes Katrina and Rita taught us that we need to integrate our approach to both our man-made flood protection systems and our natural environment," said Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chair Sidney Coffee. "Levee School will give our commissioners and managers better tools for decision making."
Dr. William L. Jenkins, President Emeritus of the Louisiana State University System will give the welcoming comments to the incoming "freshman class."
"Better communication and understanding among agencies, engineers/scientists, the press and our citizens is essential for good decision-making processes," said Bruce Thompson, a New Orleans businessman who was part of the Levee School formation team. "Levee School will provide us with both the common language for that communication and a 35,000 foot view of how the pieces fit together."
"Our state agencies deal with very complex issues," said Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Johnny Bradberry, whose department also provided funding. "Professional development programs like "Levee School" will greatly improve how our commissioners serve the public interest."
For more information, please visit www.laseagrant.org/leveeschool. For a copy of the three-day agenda, please click the following link: http://www.laseagrant.org/leveeschool/DraftAgenda.pdf.
Media members are invited to attend at any time during the three days. For more information, please contact Louisiana Sea Grant Research Associate Justin Farrell at (225) 578-6348 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's mandate is to develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive coastal protection and restoration master plan. For the first time in Louisiana's history, this single state authority will integrate coastal restoration and hurricane protection by marshalling the expertise and resources of the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation and Development, and other state agencies, to speak with one clear voice for the future of Louisiana's coast. Working with federal, state and local political subdivisions, including levee districts, the CPRA will work to establish a safe and sustainable coast that will protect our communities, the nation's critical energy infrastructure, and our bountiful natural resources for generations to come. The CPRA of Louisiana was established by Act 8 of the 1st Extraordinary Session of 2005.