2017 Summit: Permitting Disaster:  Baton Rouge Areas Floods of 2016

Saturday, March 11, 2:40pm, Weinmann Hall, Room TBD

This panel will focus on the historic August 2016 flooding that devastated Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. While some tried to blame this destruction on plain bad luck, experts say the flooding occurred due to cumulative poor planning decisions. This panel will go into detail regarding environmental and urban mismanagement, focusing on the build up of improper policy in Louisiana.

Edward Richards J.D. M.P.H., Director, Program in Law, Science, and Public Health; Clarence W. Edwards Professor of Law, LSU Law Center

Professor Richards received his undergraduate degree in biology and behavioral science from Rice University, studied human physiology and biochemistry as a graduate student at Baylor College of Medicine, physical chemistry and drug design at the University of Michigan, received his J.D. from the University of Houston and his M.P.H. (Masters of Public Health) from the University of Texas School of Public Health. He is the Clarence W. Edwards Professor of Law at the Louisiana State University Law Center, and Director of the Program in Law, Science, and Public Health. He is currently researching the impact of sea level rise and climate change on coastal disaster risks. Email – richards@lsu.edu; Climate Change Blog – http://sites.law.lsu.edu/coast/; SSRN – http://ssrn.com/author=222637


Craig Colten, Carl O. Sauer Professor of Geography, Ph.D.

Craig E. Colten has spent over 30 years working on a variety of applied and academic projects in the arena of environmental historical geography.  His early career, in the public and private sectors, focused on tracking elusive historical hazardous waste sites and assisting with complex environmental litigation.  In 2000 he joined the faculty at Louisiana State University where he is now the Carl O. Sauer Professor of Geography.  He has reoriented his work to look at the broader questions of urban hazards, community resilience, and water resources.  His recent books include the award-winning An Unnatural Metropolis:  Wresting New Orleans from Nature (2005), Perilous Place and Powerful Storms:  Hurricane Protection in Coastal Louisiana (2009), and Southern Waters:  The Limits to Abundance (2014).  From 2013 to 2015 he worked with The Water Institute of the Gulf, a not-for-profit research organization, where he oversaw efforts to incorporate human issues into the science-dominated coastal restoration programs.


Amelia Hoppe (Moderator), Esq., Program Director at Louisiana Civil Justice Center

lcjc-amelia-hoppeAmelia Hoppe is program director and a staff attorney for the New Orleans-based non-profit, Louisiana Civil Justice Center (LCJC). Amelia has received the Gillis Long Public Service Award for her commitment to serving those in need. She has also been featured in several publications regarding collective responsibility in the Gulf Coast Region. LCJC, as a statewide nonprofit, has been named on all FEMA materials as the legal hotline for information regarding claims and appeals. As a result, LCJC has received thousands of calls and has opened 485 full cases relating to the disaster since August 12th. The legal issues range from landlord/tenant and insurance to contractor fraud.

Brought to you by: Louisiana Sea Grant