Earlier this month, Plaquemines Parish officials broke ground on a green animal shelter, a first of its kind in the region. The future Plaquemines Parish Animal Shelter aims for LEED certification, a designation the United States Green Building Council gives to "sustainable buildings" based on site development, water and energy efficiency, materials used and indoor air quality. The shelter's energy savings and design make the parish eligible for a $1.5 million reimbursement. The shelter also will incorporate a geothermal HVAC system, which captures heat for hot water and uses light, white roofing materials to deflect unwanted heat.
Apart from energy efficiency, the shelter will provide a spay-and-neuter clinic, indoor and outdoor space for cats to roam freely and a larger shelter space. It will house both the Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the Plaquemines Parish Animal Control department.