The draft statewide resilience report can be downloaded here and public comments can be made using this survey to capture public feedback. We will be accepting comments on the report now through November 30, 2023 at noon central time. If you wish to submit a comment, please use the linked survey and note that all questions are optional and all answers are anonymous.
In 2020, Governor Edwards joined ten other states by authoring an executive order naming a Chief Resilience Officer to advance a cross-agency, holistic approach to the challenges and opportunities associated with the impacts of environmental hazards in Louisiana’s coastal area. During the 2023 Regular Legislative Session, House Bill 526 (coauthored by Representatives Zeringue, Bourriaque, and Jenkins and Senator Milligan) was adopted and signed into law as Act 315 which built on that work by establishing the position of Chief Resilience Officer within the Office of the Governor by statute and with the mandate to take this cross-government approach to resilience statewide and in response to all of the environmental hazards the state and its communities are facing.
Building resilience in Louisiana is fundamentally about enhancing our ability to adapt to the wide-ranging environmental challenges facing our communities today and in the future. This is a multifaceted effort that necessarily involves forward-thinking initiatives focusing on our built environment (infrastructure, housing, etc.), our economy and workforce, the natural environment, and promoting and preserving health, opportunity, and culture for communities. By addressing resilience from multiple angles, roles and responsibilities emerge for different types of actors and agencies across all levels of government and beyond.
This approach will be applied to policy questions, strategies, and cross-agency initiatives that focus on adapting to future impacts, challenges that are slow-moving, those that are not currently captured by a single agency, and those that require or benefit from collaboration across agencies or levels of government.
Through the structures created by Act 315, Louisiana is moving to establish connections and lines of communication between local, state, and federal government and between agencies and branches within state government as we individually and collectively strive to become more resilient in the face of a varied and increasingly challenging set of environmental conditions and changes. The first step in building this new system has been to establish a framework, a working definition, which we can use to draw in agencies and expertise of different types into the project of building resilience. It defines resilience as something inherently multi-dimensional when looked at in total and also made up of pieces that can be used to organize conversations or collaborations among smaller groups of stakeholders who may share a common language or a shared collection of missions.
The four elements of statewide, multi-hazard resilience are:
The four elements of resilience create space for each agency or branch of government to identify at least one clear role in supporting the work of building a more resilient state in the near term and over time, the framework will allow resilience officers to interact more actively with the connections and relationships between agencies and missions captured in the framework as a whole.
With a framework to capture the missions and work of each participant in Louisiana’s resilience journey, resilience officers and others must begin to take action. The pillars of resilience reflect what we value or hope to achieve as we conduct our resilience work. They represent the things we will support or that we can use to show that we are becoming a more resilient state. In future iterations of this report, the pillars will also be apparent in each agency’s strategic adaptation plan. The pillars are values underpinning this work no matter the type of environmental shock or stressor that is being considered.
Louisiana’s work to build resilience must be grounded in the experiences faced by our residents. While everyone in our state is exposed to some level of climate impact, those impacts are felt disproportionately by vulnerable groups.
Partnerships are necessary to address resilience challenges as they ripple across and throughout our state.
Science and information should be the foundation for action.
Louisiana is adopting a hub-and-spoke structure to achieve government-wide adaptation that enhances each entity’s adaptation potential as well as the capacity to address issues holistically. This structure places resilience officers in each agency all connected to the Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) in the Governor’s Office.
The CRO will convene an Interagency Resilience Coordination Team made up of the resilience officers to maintain communication and alignment and oversee the development of the statewide resilience report.
The Louisiana Resilience Task Force, made up of Principles from across government and the Louisiana Municipal Association, the Police Jury Association, the Board of Regents, and the Public Service Commission will also meet to provide strategic direction to the state’s resilience efforts and make recommendations to the CRO.
Major Dean Aucoin, LDWF, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stuart Brown, CPRA, email@example.com
Toby Comeaux, DCFS, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lt. Colonel Chris Eskew, Public Safety, email@example.com
Jeffrey Giering, GOHSEP, Jeffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org
Lakesha Hart, DOA, LaKesha.email@example.com
Christy Johnson, Health, Christy.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Lanclos, DNR, email@example.com
Michael McDonald, Corrections, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Mcfarland, DEQ, email@example.com
Luke Morris, Revenue, firstname.lastname@example.org
Billy Williamson, email@example.com
Pat Witty, LED, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dustin Guy, Veterans Affairs, email@example.com
Raul Esquivel, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Barry Milligan, Louisiana State Senate, email@example.com
Rep. Clay Schexnayder, Speaker of the House
November 6, 2023
House Committee Room 6
Louisiana State Capitol
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
September 28, 2023
Oliver Pollock Room
602 N. 5th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
August 31, 2023
Conference Room 102
7711 Goodwood Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806