VACHERIE — Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser presented the St. James Parish Council on Wednesday with the comprehensive coastal initiative plan his parish currently uses to protect against the flooding, storm surge and marsh destruction commonly seen after major hurricanes.
Nungesser and P.J. Hahn, Plaquemines Parish director of coastal zone management, are traveling to local governments to promote community cooperation to create sustainable flood protection plans, Hahn said.
Although St. James Parish, like many state parishes, is not located on the coast, Nungesser said, the parish should be concerned about coastal flooding and marsh erosion because the area could become the new Louisiana coast if nothing is done.
The issue of flood control is an important one to St. James Parish officials.
The St. James Parish Council is currently discussing the creation of a parishwide flood control committee to address flooding and drainage in light of a springtime storm that waterlogged the parish with 14.21 inches of rainfall over 48 hours.
Plaquemines Parish officials set out to create a coastal plan that is sustainable, would lower storm surge through a reduction in wave heights and would recognize forms of protection other than levees and floodwalls.
Nungesser said he wanted a plan more reflective of the wants and desires from the local community than out-of-state experts.
Hahn said work is being done now to use sand berms to protect the coast’s outlying barrier islands.
In other news, the St. James Parish Council approved a resolution declaring Nov. 28 as Cypress Grove High School Day. Cypress Grove High School was the first high school on the east bank for African-American students from 1947-69, Councilman Ken Brass said.
On Nov. 28, the school will hold its second school reunion, Brass said.
Brass said Cypress Grove High School “paved the way” and “opened doors” for his generation.