Laine Kaplan-Levenson


Laine Kaplan-Levenson is a multimedia producer living in New Orleans. She was the transmedia producer for the interactive documentary project LandofOpportunity, and later the managing editor for Laine was the first Coastal Producer for WWNO's Coastal Desk, and is now the host of TriPod: New Orleans at 300, WWNO's Tricentennial series. Laine's also a producer for the Listening Post, the Moth Storyslam, and runs her own live storytelling event, Bring Your Own. Her work has appeared on MarketplaceHere and Now, the podcast, and more. 

Ways To Connect

Lane Lefort / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Norco, Louisiana on Monday to announce a new environmental initiative aimed at private landowners along the Gulf Coast.

The Department of Agriculture and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are looking to fund conservation projects as part of the ongoing recovery from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Dale Thayer

In September, a delegation of local officials traveled to Austin to learn how they manage their water. Earlier this month, members of that same delegation visited Philadelphia for another take on urban water management and green infrastructure.

Who Was There: Dale Thayer

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

In September, a delegation of local officials traveled to Austin to learn how they manage their water. New Orleans is preparing to adopt a new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance which, if passed, will include the city’s first ever stormwater management plan.

Earlier this month, members of that same delegation visited Philadelphia for another take on urban water management and green infrastructure.

Timothy Dahl /

Here are two buzzwords you probably hear a lot these days: "sustainability" and "resilience." These words will be heard a lot over the next few days at the Greenbuild Conference and Expo, as visitors from around the world will share ideas on how to plan for the future using green technology. 

Justin Stumberg / U.S. military

The US Treasury Department announced yesterday that Gulf Coast state and local governments can finally submit proposals and apply for RESTORE Act funds. This opens up grants to support communities impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  

Some of the $653 million in civil penalties that came out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are now available. 35 percent of that money will be divided equally among the five states of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 20 coastal parishes in Louisiana qualify for the funds.


The Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference kicked off this past Saturday in New Orleans, and continues through Wednesday, October 1. On Monday afternoon, a new report called "Navigating to New Shores: Seizing the Future for Sustainable and Resilient U.S. Freshwater Resources" was released at the Morial Convention Center.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

The March: On Sunday, September 21, over 400,000 people congregated in New York City to fight against climate change and advocate for an economic and political system that takes action to address the environmental issues across the planet. Folks represented a variety of focus areas, from anti-fracking to anti-big oil to veganism to food justice to clean air.  

WWNO’s Coastal Desk wanted to know to what degree the issues in Louisiana are on the national radar. They pulled people from the crowd to hear what they knew about the Gulf Coast:

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

This week our coastal team is visiting the city of Austin, Texas with a group of New Orleans city officials, including City Council members Susan Guidry and LaToya Cantrell, and representatives from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and the Sewerage and Water Board.

The goal is to learn about how Austin manages its water system, and see if there’s some takeaways as the city of New Orleans tries to create a new water strategy that integrates old and new design.

Francesca Lyman

The 24th Annual Society of Environmental Journalists conference took place in New Orleans last week, bringing to town a few hundred environmental reporters, advocates, scientists, engineers, politicians and more.

Participants got out of the conference rooms to see the levees, bayous, marshes, sinkholes, refineries and rivers that all contribute to the complex region that is Louisiana’s Gulf coast.

Times Picayune archives

When it comes annual rainfall, New Orleans is the third wettest city in the country, next to Pensacola, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama. Historically, this city below sea level has dealt with large amounts of rain by trying to keep as much water out as possible. Now, urban planners, land conservationists and city officials are trying out new strategies to manage water. Keeping more water in, rather than trying to pump it out, may be better for the city than we thought.