Dr. Jenneke Visser was a member of STUDIO MISI-ZIIBI one of the three design teams named as winners of the international changing course competition (http://changingcourse.us/competitors/studiomisiziibi/). Changing Course is one of the largest global design competitions ever conducted to find solutions to the most vexing problems facing coastal communities threatened by violent storms, rapid land loss and rising seas. It has brought together 21 teams of top engineers, planners, designers, scientists and coastal experts from around the world to create innovative visions for one of America’s greatest, and most threatened natural resources. From the initial 21, eight teams were selected to develop proposals for how to approach the problem. From these, three teams were selected as finalists to develop ideas and concepts and these teams were ultimately declared the winners of the competition. The state of Louisiana already has agreed to consider the technical innovations of the three winning Changing Course teams in its coastal planning. Changing Course is mentioned specifically in the RESTORE Council's draft Funded Priorities List—as a source of solutions and ideas for the $9.3 million study of the Lower River by the State of Louisiana and Corps of Engineers. While each of the winning teams offered a different vision, all three identified the same key requirements as critical to sustaining the Mississippi River Delta today and into the future:
• Reconnecting the Mississippi River to its wetlands to help restore southeast Louisiana’s first line of defense against powerful storms and rising sea levels.
• Planning for a smaller, more sustainable delta, including a gradual shift in population to create more protected and resilient communities.
• Protecting and maximizing the region’s port and maritime activities.
• Increasing economic opportunities in a future smaller delta through expanding shipping capacity, coastal restoration infrastructure, outdoor recreation and tourism and commercial fishing.