Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban & Regional Planning


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Marla Nelson

Second Advisor

Fallon Aidoo

Third Advisor

Traci Burch


The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion (MBSD) project in Barataria Bay, Southeast Louisiana, is one of the most ambitious coastal restoration projects in U.S. history. Despite the support of the MBSD project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana, it is highly unpopular among coastal communities along the Barataria Bay coast and beyond. It is generally accepted that urban planning/ coastal policymaking cannot be effective without the involvement of the most affected groups. For decades, research in urban planning and environmental policymaking has suggested that policies that fail to consider the concerns of local communities are likely to fail. In planning for the MBSD project, the Corps has considered impacts on coastal communities in financial and environmental terms. However, it has been unable to adequately assess the project’s social, cultural, and psychological consequences for coastal communities. By incorporating local knowledge into coastal planning, more sustainable and equitable coastal development strategies can be developed to meet both the needs of local communities and the broader ecosystem. This must involve building partnerships and relationships with local communities, creating new planning methodologies and tools that prioritize local knowledge, and addressing power imbalances that have historically marginalized local communities from the planning process.

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Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Friday, April 21, 2028