The wetland landscape of the Gulf Coast south of New Orleans is home to some of the most significant shipping infrastructure, productive fishing and aquaculture and unique cultures and communities in our nation. It also provides a critical buffer to storm surge to the inland communities from the region’s exposure to hurricanes. At the same time, land subsidence, increasing storm threats and sea level rise are taking its toll – with nearly a football field sized patch of wetland lost to the sea each and every day. The Changing Course Competition asked the world’s experts to develop out-of-box ideas to address the significant challenges of the region.
Gina Ford led Sasaki’s participation in the competition – focusing on visual communication, cultural considerations and economic impacts – on the Baird Associates team, which also included many technical and academic partners to address the complex inter-related scientific and cultural context. Baird’s strategy – called “A Delta for All” – introduced bold, large-scale engineering infrastructures to maximize sediment capture and create immediate benefits of flood-risk reduction, shipping reliability and efficiency and increased ecological tourism. The proposal also put forward new policy and funding strategies to enable managed retreat from the highest-risk areas over time.Project Images