The Water Institute is an independent, non-profit, applied research institution advancing science and developing integrated methods to solve complex environmental and societal challenges. We believe in and strive for more resilient and equitable communities, sustainable environments, and thriving economies.



Coastal regions are confronting complex, diverse, and interconnected challenges, including the impacts of sea-level rise, land loss, subsidence, environmental degradation, and increases in storm frequency and intensity. Communities, businesses, ecosystems, and essential infrastructure in these regions are facing substantial and growing hazards and risks. The Water Institute works to provide the best available science and decision making support to enable stakeholders to analyze, manage, and reduce risks.

How We Work

The Water Institute Methodology

The Water Institute methodology employs applied science to assist communities to make informed decisions and plan for an uncertain future. Our goal is to fully inform and advise decisionmakers in evaluating alternatives grounded in science, research, and community priorities.
Explore the methodology wheel to learn more.


The decision point is outside of our domain—our goal is to fully inform decision makers but not advocate for any one alternative.

Discovery & Engagement

The Water Institute begins by meaningful and deliberate community engagement, identifying problems and objectives, and conducting background and policy research.

Metrics & Evaluation

The Water Institute designates physical, natural, and social metrics to measure success toward the community’s goals.

Tool Development

The Water Institute collects data and creates tools such as predictive numerical modeling and scripts for data analysis to advance knowledge of the problem at hand.

Alternatives Analysis

Leveraging its transdisciplinary approach, the Water Institute utilizes integrated modeling to identify alternative solutions to challenges.


To further support the decision process, the Institute prioritizes all identified solutions, outlining the tradeoffs and consequences of each.

Planning & Policy Development

The Water Institute supports the decision process by further prioritizing projects and conducting research to inform policy development following decisions.

Adaptive Management

The Water Institute supports decision makers as they assess and adapt their plans over time to reduce uncertainty.

Scientific Rigor

Scientific rigor and advancement, stakeholder engagement, and quality assurance/quality control are central to each step of the Water Institute's methodology.


The Water Institute communicates complex scientific topics to stakeholders through plans, tools, maps, and other visualizations of data.

Learn More about the Water Institute

The Water Institute of the Gulf is celebrating a decade of connecting public, private, and academic knowledge to address some of the most pressing challenges facing Louisiana and coastal communities everywhere.

Recent Project
FEMA Cooperating Technical Partners Special Project: Flood Insurance Public Service Announcements

The Institute is a FEMA Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) for FEMA Region 6 and the State of Louisiana. The Institute’s CTP Program Management activity coordinates the planning and management activities required by State CTPs in support of Risk MAP...

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Latest News
The RESTORE Act Center of Excellence for Louisiana requests proposals for $2.3 million in available funding

BATON ROUGE, La. (Feb. 15, 2021) – The RESTORE Act Center of Excellence for Louisiana (LA-COE) released a second Request for Proposals today and is encouraging coastal researchers to apply for this $2.3 million in competitive grant money. Projects submitted for these tw...

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Recent Publication
Influence of antecedent geology on the Holocene formation and evolution of Horn Island, Mississippi, USA

Horn Island, one of the two most stable barriers along the Mississippi-Alabama chain (Cat, East and West Ship, Horn, West Petit Bois, Petit Bois, and Dauphin), provides critical habitat, helps regulate estuarine conditions in the Mississippi Sound, a...

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