The City of Covington, Louisiana, increased its drainage system maintenance to existing development to reduce flood losses. The work is intended to improve their Community Rating System (CRS) scores and is part of a small grant from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.  The project team consisted of representatives from the City of Covington, University of New Orleans, and Louisiana Sea Grant. The Team developed two videos to increase the public’s understanding of the community’s drainage system: one for public education and outreach and the second for internal training purposes.

The first video provides an overview of the drainage system (i.e., how ditches, streams, and channels are connected), and emphasizes the importance of keeping all components of the system clear of debris. The video conveys the importance of protecting the drainage system so it will reduce potential flood damage and protect valuable natural resources throughout the City. You can access the public video here: https://vimeo.com/344588862.

The second video is being used to train the City of Covington Public Works staff. It provides details on policies and procedures of the City of Covington’s inspection and maintenance program. The video gives staff directions on how to correctly complete a work order when removing debris from a waterway so that the information can be used to keep track of debris clearing. The training can be found here: https://vimeo.com/gulfofmexico.

Chris Brown, Covington’s Building Official and CRS Coordinator, said the work completed as part of the project will help the city gain CRS points in three areas: channel debris removal, problem site maintenance, and stream dumping regulations. The City was also able to add language to the litter ordinance to address the dumping of trash, landscape debris, and other materials in rivers, creeks, canals, ditches, or storage basins. The language was approved and adopted by the City Council in May.

This small award is part of a larger capacity building grant awarded to the Alliance by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Gulf Research Program.