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EPA, Ouachita Parish and others release flood resilience study

Agency offers recommendations to improve sustainability

02/25/2021
Contact Information: 
Joe Hubbard or Jennah Durant (r6press@epa.gov)
214-665-2200

DALLAS (Feb. 25, 2021) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ouachita Parish Police Jury recently completed a three-year ecosystem study of the Ouachita River. The two are now releasing a report, entitled A Deeper Look at the Ouachita River, How investment in Ouachita River infrastructure sustains human well-being in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. The report will serve as a planning roadmap for flood resilience and a decision-making guide for federal, state and local officials.

"This research is a valuable tool that will guide investment in critical infrastructure that will further protect human health and the environment so Americans may continue to enjoy the benefits of nature," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator David Gray. "By forging relationships at the ground level, we are building resiliency programs with local communities, providing the information they need to be better prepared to protect important wetlands and ecosystems when threatened with flooding."

"Every day, we see so many benefits from the Ouachita River," said Parish Engineer for the Ouachita Parish Police Jury Kevin E. Crosby. "EPA helped us better describe the economic, social and environmental value of the Ouachita River to the citizens of the Parish. This information will help demonstrate how investments in the river directly benefit people and maintain proper levels."

The report provides information and guidance on increasing community flood resilience for the unincorporated areas of Ouachita Parish, Monroe and West Monroe, La. It is based on the sustainability of the Ouachita River ecosystem. The research by federal, state and local jurisdictions aims to further preparedness efforts and help communities become more resilient. In 2018, EPA conducted two in-person workshops with community members and later held an online webinar to discuss analysis and results, before finalizing the report. The final report will help advance Ouachita Parish's roadmap to flood resilience.

Key Highlights

  • Flood control strategies on the Ouachita River should include stakeholder engagement, increase public understanding of flood control effects on important ecosystem services, and better integrate flood control options into the strategic planning processes
  • Resilience plans should account for community fundamental objectives regarding important ecosystem goods and services
  • Services interact with infrastructure to support community well-being

To read the full report, please visit: https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_Report.cfm?dirEntryId=350855&Lab=CEMM

EPA conducted this research through the Office of Research and Development's Center for Environmental Measurement and Modeling. This center conducts research to advance the EPA's ability to measure and model contaminants in the environment, including research to provide fundamental methods and models needed to implement environmental statutes.

For more about EPA's work in Louisiana: https://www.epa.gov/la

For more information on ORD, visit: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-research-and-development-ord

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Activities in EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/region6

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