Jesse Hardman

Coastal Reporter

As the new Coastal Reporter, Jesse Hardman will draw on 15 years of worldwide experience in radio, video and print journalism. As a radio reporter he has reported for NPR, BBC, and CBC, and for such familiar programs as MarketplaceThis American LifeLatino USA, and Living on Earth. He served as a daily news reporter and news magazine producer for WBEZ in Chicago. He has worked extensively in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and has reported on New Orleans for Time. At WWNO Jesse has been the creator and producer of The Listening Post, the station’s civic engagement project. He holds degrees from Kenyon College, Ohio, and Harvard University, Massachusetts.

Elizabeth Mahoney, St. Bernard resident and peer counselor.
Brett Anderson

The devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed is most visible in pictures of ruined houses and people’s destroyed possessions lying out on city streets. But there’s unseen damage that runs even deeper: the collective emotional trauma experienced by the thousands of people who lived through it.

New Orleans witnessed its 100th murder of 2015 a week ago.  A 29 year-old local man was shot in his car in the French Quarter. The city did not see it’s 100th murder last year until late August.  New Orleans had seen a decline in its murder rate the past three years. 

Charles West is the director of the City of New Orleans Innovation Delivery Team. His unit oversees the Nola For Life program, a neighborhood level initiative that targets communities with high murder rates . 

Jesse Hardman

Most of the environmental restoration focus in Louisiana has centered around saving the disappearing wetlands around the Gulf Coast. But there’s another attempted restoration in the works, a little higher up. Local scientists affiliated with the Nature Conservancy are planning to repair water flow along the Atchafalaya River Basin.

insidenorthside.com

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries a health tourism industry popped up on the Northshore of New Orleans. It was in response to high death rates in the city during summer months, and the perception that the local backswamp was responsible for yellow fever and other diseases. Crossing the lake, mostly wealthy New Orleanians were greeted by piney woods, artesian wells, and cooler breezes. St. Tammany Parish was marketed as the "Ozone Belt" and people began to flock to places like Mandeville, Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis and more for respite from the tropical heat.

Brown Pelicans recovering at the Fort Jackson bird rehabilitation center in the aftermath of the BP oil spill.
Jason Saul

The announcement of a settlement over BP oil spill claims means that billions of dollars could come to the state of Louisiana over the next decade. Much of that money will help fund restoration projects as part of the state’s coastal master plan.

A coalition of local non-profits are trying to help educate business owners on emergency preparedness. 

 

A recent city survey asked local business owners what kind of steps they’d taken to deal with disasters and emergencies. 50 percent said they had no written emergency plans. Around half also said they have no backup generators, and no interruption insurance in case their businesses close suddenly.

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

Making a home in Southeastern Louisiana has always meant risk of flooding. While some families in low lying coastal parishes elevated their homes in the 1990s, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita kicked off a boom of raising homes.

Now, more than 150 elevation companies operate in Orleans Parish alone, and have spent the past decade competing for billions of dollars in federal subsidies to help local homeowners elevate.   

Jesse Hardman

As part of a Hurricane Katrina 10th anniversary initiative, Habitat for Humanity is putting up 10 new homes in New Orleans East. A few hundred volunteers are spending the next 10 days along America Street, putting up new single-family homes in lots that have sat vacant since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita flooded this neighborhood. 

The New Orleans City Council just passed the first new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance in 40 years. One part of the ordinance, Article 23, mandates a more “green” approach to water in the city — specifically, all the extra water we get from heavy rain and storms.

Eve Troeh / WWNO

16 years ago New Orleans resident Hunter Higgins created a triathlon with some friends that revolved around Jazz Fest. This "unsanctioned" event has a small footprint — think blocks of strenuous exercise, not miles. But it's been a way for a growing local group of participants to show their New Orleans pride.

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