This paper reviews physical, geologic and environmental parameters of Louisiana barrier islands to support the definition of regional strategies and management practices for long-term coastal restoration. For management purposes the barrier island systems of Louisiana are divided into a series of coastal segments to be maintained over the long term. Recommendations are drawn for each coastal segment on the basis of biophysical properties. Two separate design approaches for barrier island restoration are elucidated (stable location design and retreat design) including sediment volume requirements for the restoration of specific barrier islands. In order to maintain long-term stability, intensive restoration programs require barrier island nourishment, vegetative plantings, and coastal structures in some cases. Restoration strategies, practices, and design approaches are refined by employing monitoring data in an adaptive management process.