A stormwater diversion in Mandeville, a mental health and substance abuse program in Plaquemines Parish and a wetlands educational center in Jefferson Parish.
Those projects may not have much else in common, but they were announced Friday as three of the first 10 initiatives the state will tackle as part of its LA SAFE program, which is designed to help coastal residents and communities prepare for and mitigate future flood risks.
Friday's announcement of the chosen projects by Gov. John Bel Edwards was the culmination of months of public meetings in six parishes: Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Tammany, St. John the Baptist and Terrebonne.
Each parish has at least one project. Jefferson, Plaquemines, Lafourche and Terrebonne will have two each.
The program, whose name stands for Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments, is funded by a $40 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Foundation for Louisiana partnered with the state in launching the planning phase of the effort.
One project that's getting funding actually involves moving residents farther inland, including some who live outside the federal levee system in Terrebonne Parish. The state has been working for months to relocate residents of Isle de Jean Charles, a mostly Native American community threatened by storms and rising sea level, to a 515-acre sugarcane farm near Thibodaux.
Terrebonne Parish's other LA SAFE project is an effort to create more than 300 acres of marshland at Lake Boudreaux to act as a buffer that will reduce the impact of storm surge.
In Lafourche Parish, the two projects include the development of a "resilient housing prototype" and the creation of a business incubator. The goal of the former, according to program documents, is to build "density on a reduced footprint" in houses that will be resistant to wind and water damage. About half of the units will be sold at market rate; the other half will be offered to those earning reduced incomes.
The Lafourche business incubator will provide shared working space, office equipment and mentorship to entrepreneurs as a way to foster business in areas at risk of flooding.
In Jefferson, project funds will go toward building the Louisiana Wetland Education Center in Jean Lafitte and improving Gretna's City Park and the 25th Street Canal to help retain and drain stormwater, as well as to improve signage and recreational opportunities in Gretna that residents complained were lacking.
In Plaquemines, LA SAFE funds will go toward supporting a mental health and substance abuse program and creating a "harbor of refuge" in Empire. The harbor will be a place where vessels can shelter during tropical storms.
In St. John Parish, the selected project consists of upgrades to a 1.3-mile stretch of Airline Highway and a .3-mile stretch of Main Street in LaPlace. The improvements will help filter water runoff and improve cyclist and pedestrian amenities.
In St. Tammany, the LA SAFE project will create recreation and runoff improvements at Safe Haven, a planned mental health and substance abuse facility east of Mandeville. The improvements, according to the project documents, will help direct stormwater into woodland.
At Friday's announcement, Edwards said events like Hurricane Isaac in 2012 showed the need for such projects.
"In an age of heightened risk, now is the time to start addressing the needs of our communities," he said.