Marais des Cannes is a flood prone area located in Lafayette Parish., Louisiana along Coulee Ile des Cannes, a natural stream draining a 44.3 square mile watershed, the largest in parish.

The watershed is under the jurisdiction of the unincorporated area of Lafayette Consolidated Government and the City of Scott

The proposal is to change the existing drainage patterns to provide for development and a conservation area in a FEMA regulated Floodway.

The total design area  is 920 acres (1.4 square miles),  Some of this area is not proposed for development, other areas are set aside for future development and some areas are proposed to have initial retail land use and followed by possible office and residential purposes.

The Marais des Cannes takes its name from Coulee Ile des Cannes, the local French geographic terms:

The reference to Island of Cannes is taken from the Atakapa  people who used the native cane that grew in profusion along the coulee in the sea of prairie grass. The cane was used to weave native baskets, a tradition adopted by the early Acadian settlers. This area of canes in a sea of grass has a complex history related to flooding and transportation facilities.

Interstate 10 at KOA Campground (Exit 97) is one of those facilities: it divides the Design Area  into two parts.

  • The North Design Area is bounded by Rue September, Rue Bon Secours, and LA Highway 93.
  • The South Design Area is bounded by Andres Road, Cameron Street (US Highway 90) and Apollo Road.

The first significant conclusion is that two options for developments can be proposed for this area.

Option 1 Plan included extensive ponds and lakes with residential, office, and  commercial land uses. The Plan was based on the original layout in the original grant application.  Option 1 proposed deep ponds with residential, commercial, and office space conservation easement parcels and  a profit loss of $9.33 million. This loss could be partially funded with public funds because the project has educational and recreation areas for public use.

In contrast, the second proposal is the Modified Plan  having three land uses (initial commercial, shallow mitigation bank, and land for future development) and shows a for a profit of $4.67 million. This plan did not require public funds for its construction.

Thus, only the Modified Plan could be built exclusively with private funding. Various mixtures of public and private funding were identified if additional funds were needed for the project. One major source of funding might be existing economic development districts adjoining the project site.

Both plans were modeled with hydrology, substrata evaluation, ecological studies, and economic analysis into an single whole so as to enhance the positive relationships and mitigate negative outcomes of integrating these diverse ecological niches and mixed land use.

High density residential, office, and commercial architectural site plans were developed for both layouts.

The second significant conclusion is that the mitigation bank can be privately funded and set aside as a conservation easement to protect wildlife. However, the mitigation bank also can provide a park for  educational and recreational activities. These multi-faceted land uses can be described in this table.

The third significant conclusion is that the Marais des Cannes project utilizes three kinds of planning tools merged into a hybrid approach:

  • Grey Infrastructure  is composed of engineered concrete pipes, conduits, steel and concrete within a vast interconnected stormwater system.
  • Green Infra-structure composed carefully selected trees, shrubs, and grasses surrounded by ponds, lakes and streams with a watershed scale system.
  • Low Impact Development (LID) is a localized approach to processing water on site using a performance based system of stormwater management.

Four summaries of the project are provided:

  1. Findings is a summary of the two sets of individual reports (#1 to #18) and (#19 to #36) written by the staff and consultants.
  2. Project History describes the process of conceptualization, design, and reassessment.
  3. Templates and Methods is a replicable process to create other Community Watershed Developments illustrated with a set of maps.
  4. Final Grant Narrative describes contract provisions in the grant application and the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) between Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) and the State of Louisiana

The maps are available in four formats:

(1) standard Google maps of the design area;
(2) low resolution jpegs  for online use;
(3) high resolution pdfs for detail study and printing; and
(4) ESRI Geographic Information System (GIS) Map Packages containing the source shapefile layers and formatting file to create the jpegs and pdfs.

The planning for Marais des Cannes was funded by

The files used to create this website are available on Microsoft One Drive with links from this download webpage on this site.

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