Mayoral Forum: Flood Risk and Adapting to Environmental Change

September 14th, 5:30-7:00PM (doors open at 5:00PM)
New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

2017 Mayoral Forum


The flooding on August 5, 2017, shone a bright light on New Orleans’ environmental and infrastructural vulnerabilities when it comes to flood risk, and the need for well-informed leadership on storm water management. To that end, the Urban Conservancy is partnering with the Greater New Orleans Foundation to host a mayoral forum on “Flood Risk and Adapting to Environmental Change.”


The moderated forum gave candidates the opportunity to answer questions on issues pertaining to New Orleans’ role in Louisiana’s coastal land loss crisis and restoration efforts, the City’s flood protection and the future of living with water, and the City’s role in committing to climate change adaptation and the principles delineated in the Paris Climate Accord.

All candidates were invited to participate, and the following confirmed their participation by submitting bios and personal statements on the issue by the deadline: Michael Bagneris, Ed Bruski, LaToya Cantrell, Desiree Charbonnet, Brandon Dorrington, Troy Henry, Matthew Hill, and Johnese Smith.

Sponsors included the Coalition to Restore Coastal LouisianaThe Lens, the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy, the Tulane ByWater Institute, the Gulf Restoration Network, the Lowlander Center, the Okra Inn, and the Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans.

The Mayoral Forum on Flood Risk and Adapting to Environmental Change, hosted by the Urban Conservancy, was held on the evening of Thursday September 14th from 5:30-7:00pm at the New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The Forum was open to the public. Doors opened at 5:00pm. The Forum was streamed live at, and and was be rebroadcast will be rebroadcast on WHIV-FM 102.3 Friday at 5:00pm.


Photo by: Rahn Broady, 8/5/17 flood

Update 1

Jul 2020

Press Release on Biz New Orleans

For Immediate Release

NEW ORLEANS, LA, July 20, 2020 ––  Homeowners, contractors, and green sector specialists join the Urban Conservancy Tuesday, July 21, at 5:30 pm for a Zoom call to release new survey findings demonstrating that homeowners can significantly reduce flooding on their properties while reducing runoff to our catch basins by installing green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) like rain gardens, rain barrels, and permeable paving systems. 

The UC conducted a survey of 68 homeowners who participated in their Front Yard Initiative between 2015 and 2019 to assess long term benefits and issues with residential GSI. “This data has incredibly positive implications for New Orleans as we continue to look for ways to reduce the risk to people and property that comes with our increasingly intense rainfall events,” says Dana Eness, Executive Director of the Urban Conservancy. “It shows that residential GSI, when properly installed, is effective, economical, not overly burdensome to maintain, and enhances community safety and quality of life by reducing frequency and severity of flooding while keeping thousands of gallons of water per rain event out of our streets, catch basins, and pumping system.”

The findings of this study are consistent with what several recent studies in other cities around the country have also documented: dollars invested in GSI generate multiple benefits like reducing localized flooding and subsidence while spurring economic activity that supports well-paying jobs and businesses.

Eness hopes this data will serve as a catalyst for development of a coordinated, data-driven strategy that places residents and contractors implementing GSI at the center of the conversation.  “Building a blue-green sector that advances racial equity and economic security is the task before us. For every resident who installs green infrastructure, and for every contractor who installs it, there are countless others who are inspired by it and ready to do the same but don’t have the necessary resources, guidance or skills they need to participate,” says Eness.

What: Residential Green Infrastructure in New Orleans: Key Findings from the Front Yard Initiative

When: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Where: Zoom

Register here

Read more here >


About the Urban Conservancy: The Urban Conservancy is a non-profit organization leading and collaborating to strengthen New Orleans’ urban environment and local economy through equitable practices, policies and programs. We engage in hands-on programming to alleviate neighborhood flooding and create green sector job opportunities through our Front Yard Initiative. Learn more at



Inform yourself, inform candidates:

View the 9/25/17 Mayoral Runoff Debate:

Water Collaborative Election 2017 Fact Sheets

Flooding and Subsidence 

Fundamentals of Water Management

Green Infrastructure

Candidates’ Written Responses to Forum Questions