Dear friends and colleagues,
It has certainly been a tough hurricane season. Hurricane Zeta was just our most recent reminder of the importance of coastal restoration and urban water management to the sustainability of greater New Orleans. Fortunately, Louisiana has billions of dollars dedicated to protecting our fragile coast and installing much needed improvements to our urban water infrastructure.
In addition to making our region more environmentally sustainable, these investments also have the potential to make Southeast Louisiana’s economy more resilient—through greater diversification, and through the opportunities these investments can generate for small businesses and workers with a range of skill backgrounds. State and local leaders have long recognized that a more diverse, more inclusive economy helps to guard against economic shocks—whether caused by global pandemics, destructive storms, or more routine business cycles.
The Data Center’s Coastal Index dashboard examines the potential for coastal restoration and water management to generate new opportunities for regional economic development. The Coastal Index tracks economic, social, and political factors that have been shown to affect the formation of industry clusters in the U.S.
We recently updated the Coastal Index and migrated it to a new web-based format. As we continue to delve into the social and economic dimensions of coastal change, our plan is to update the Coastal Index to better reflect this emerging sector as it develops.
The region’s future clearly depends on long-term investments in coastal protection and water management. The ongoing recession only underscores the immediacy of emerging and sustainable industries for making the region’s economy more equitable and more resilient.
Check out the new Coastal Index dashboard at:

Bringing you the data you need to make informed decisions,
The Data Center Team
Katrina Andry, Erica Amrine, Allison Plyer, Dabne Whitemore, Jenna Losh, Don Asay, Robby Habans, Lamar Gardere, Cody Brumfield, Amy Teller, Rachel Weinstein, and Ellen Kujawa
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