Dear friends and colleagues,
Now that the state legislature has approved the 2017 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, many are touting the thousands of jobs that will be created by the implementation of the plan.
There is no doubt that with more than $8 billion from BP, the execution of the Master Plan will generate thousands of jobs at a variety of skill levels. But, these jobs will not be sustained once the BP settlement funding runs out in 15 years. 
One of the ways these jobs might continue is if the industry becomes a self-sustaining cluster.
To become a self-sustaining cluster, Louisiana must not only develop scientific preeminence in the field of flood risk reduction but also commercialize that science.
From geotextiles, to oyster reefs, to massive civil engineering projects, to watershed monitoring and management, to new ways of managing subsidence – there are likely dozens of innovations in flood risk reduction that could be developed and marketed to bring in revenues from national and global markets that will soon face these challenges.
Leaders must commit to long-term strategies to develop the supports for this cluster — supports that have proven critical in the formation of every cluster that is driving today’s prosperous regional economies.
The Coastal Index 2017 measures economic, social, and political factors that have been shown to affect the formations of clusters in the U.S., as well as provides a roadmap for how leaders can build on strengths and address weaknesses to create a self-sustaining water management cluster for Louisiana.

Check it out at:

Bringing you the data you need to make informed decisions,
The Data Center Team
Keisha Smith, Allison Plyer, Bernardo Espinosa, Caroline Heffernan, Dabne Whitemore, and Lamar Gardere

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