The New Atlantis Project (generally referred to just as Atlantis Project) was a project initiated in 2367 as a way of creating a new subcontinent in the Atlantic Ocean on Earth.
It was supervised by 200 people, including Louis, a childhood friend of Jean-Luc Picard, but lacked a central director who would lead the project. One of the challenges was to accelerate the build-up on the underside of the mantle without increasing the stress on the tectonic plates. During his explorations on the USS Enterprise-D, Picard had kept up with the project through journals.
Picard met his friend shortly after his rescue from the Borg, and suggested to Louis to use harmonic resonators to relieve the tectonic pressures, as they had done with Drema IV.
Louis saw in Picard the person the government was looking for and offered the job of project director. Picard turned down the offer, preferring to return to the Enterprise. (TNG: "Family")