Finalists Selected for Changing Course Competition

Finalists Selected for the Changing Course Competition

The Changing Course Leadership Team yesterday selected three teams to participate in the Changing Course Lower Mississippi River Delta design competition.

These teams will develop innovative designs for a self-sustaining Lower Mississippi River Delta that reduce land loss in the region while improving navigation conditions and strengthening resilience for local communities and industries.

The three finalist teams, chosen after a global search, will compete in the first phase of a design competition that will involve developing solutions to restore the delta’s degraded ecosystem – while meeting the needs of navigation, coastal industries and the region’s unique communities and culture.

One or more teams will be selected to advance to a second phase in spring 2015 in which plans will be further refined. The final designs are intended to assist Louisiana coastal planners and engineers with developing the state’s 2017 Coastal Master Plan.

The Changing Course competition is giving design teams and agency partners the freedom to think big and to think differently about finding solutions that will not just improve the Lower Mississippi River Delta, but could serve as a global model for other coastal areas around the world,” said Stacy Methvin, Leadership Team Member and retired Shell Oil Company vice president.

In a very strong competition, these winning teams stood out because their experts bridge strong regional knowledge with innovative ideas from deltas around the world,” said Carlton Dufrechou, Leadership Team Member and general manager, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. “We are confident these teams have the vision and experience to develop bold solutions for the delta and our people, economy and culture.”

The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to spurring innovation in resilience planning and design that brings together multiple disciplines in new ways and creates bold ideas,” said Nancy Kete, Leadership Team Member and a managing director at The Rockefeller Foundation.The caliber of these three design teams demonstrates clearly the potential for the Mississippi River Delta to be an international model for resilient recovery. Their innovative ideas will benefit both the regional and national economy and the safety of area residents, particularly the most vulnerable, who are hit hardest by storms and coastal flooding.”

Changing Course Lower Mississippi River Delta design competitionEach team will develop a preferred design for the Lower Mississippi River system, including using the natural power of the Mississippi River to protect and restore the delta landscape while addressing the needs of navigation, flood risk management, fisheries and coastal communities.

Coastal Louisiana was shaped and built by the Mississippi River. Over the last century, nearly 1,900 square miles of wetlands – an area approximately the size of Delaware – have disappeared due to river management that starves the delta of critical land-building sediment.

Changing Course seeks to develop an improved river management plan that can halt land loss and restore the delta ecosystem, while improving navigation and increasing industry and community resilience.

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Press Release, September 23, 2014

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