Projections of sea level rise are increasingly ominous. It is an existential imperative that Southeast Louisiana emerge as a national leader in managing coastal land loss and flood risk. But doing so requires the intentional development of a specialized economic cluster.
This brief identifies opportunities for strengthening the processes critical to building a cluster: sharing of resources and inputs to the production process, matching of workers and businesses to high-productivity opportunities, and learning in the form of specialized knowledge transfer and innovation. The timeframe for building the needed workforce and specialized knowledge base for the water management cluster is decades-long. But the time for Southeast Louisiana to capture “first mover” advantage is now.