Tegan Wendland

Coastal Reporter, Interim News Director

Tegan Wendland is WWNO's Interim News Director. She also reports on the coast. She has a background in investigative news reporting and an M.S. in Life Sciences Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked as a reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio, The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, WRKF-FM in Baton Rouge and WVIK-FM in Rock Island, Illinois. Her stories have aired nationally on All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Marketplace. 

Ways to Connect

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

As Louisiana’s coast continues to disappear, people are moving inland. The state says thousands may be forced to leave their homes -  but where will they go, and how will those places, known as ‘receiver communities,’ change?

For clues, we can look to St. Tammany Parish, where thousands moved after Hurricane Katrina.

It’s a typical Saturday at Mutt’s restaurant in Mandeville. Families laugh together over seafood and bread pudding.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

As climate change causes the sea levels to rise, local and state governments are grappling with how to prepare. With its extensive coast and location in the northeast United States, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts will see the highest sea level rise, Rhode Island is at-risk.

WWNO coastal reporter, Tegan Wendland, spoke with the director of the state’s Coastal Resources Management Council, Grover Fugate, about what Rhode Island is doing to prepare.

You can listen to the entire unedited interview here: 

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

In the Lower Ninth Ward an infrastructure project has reopened old wounds. For more than 50 years, the Army Corps of Engineers has tried to expand the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal. The shipping canal connects the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain. Officials want to dig it up and build a new lock to let more tugboats and barges through.

But the people of Lower Ninth are not having it. The conflict is emblematic of a long history of mistrust.

NOAA

Hurricane season starts June 1st. In their annual outlook released today, forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict that the Atlantic Ocean will see "above average" hurricane activity this hurricane season, which runs through November 30th.

 


Steve Myers / The Lens

The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office is under fire for pressuring crime witnesses to talk. An investigation by The Lens found that the office sent out fake subpoenas telling people to come in and talk to prosecutors.

The city’s criminal justice system is already taxed - with a high crime rate and an overcrowded jail – and critics say this latest problem is evidence that the DA’s office is using overly aggressive tactics to get victims to cooperate.

WWNO’s Tegan Wendland talked with Lens reporter, Charles Maldonado, about his investigation.

Center for Progressive Reform

In coming years, rising seas and sinking land will force many to move away from the coast. Some communities are already doing so. New research from the Center for Progressive Reform, a Washington-based nonprofit, looks at how 17 communities - from Alaska to South Dakota - are pulling it off.

WWNO’s Tegan Wendland talked with study-author, Loyola University law professor, Rob Verchick.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Coypu Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and local listeners.

Matt Hauer / Nature Climate Change

Rising seas and sinking land are forcing many along Louisiana’s coast to make hard decisions. Stay put, or move inland to safety. But it’s not just a problem here, coastal residents across the nation are facing the same challenges.

A study recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change predicts that millions will move inland in coming years.

WWNO's Tegan Wendland talked with Matt Hauer, a demographer at the University of Georgia, about how this will change life in coastal areas - and create new challenges for the communities where those people will move. 

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Contractors dressed in flak jackets and helmets took down one of New Orleans’ Confederate monuments early Monday morning. 

It was removed with no notice in the middle of the night, partly because the process has been so controversial. Protestors and supporters of the Liberty Place monument yelled as it was removed. The obelisk was put up in the 1800's by a white supremacy group.

Tucked on a back street near the Aquarium, it was the first of four the city plans to remove.

New Orleans City Park / cityparkgolf.com

City parks are good for water runoff. Open green areas soak up rain and trees wick it down into the water table. So in a wet city like New Orleans, City Park is an important asset.

 

WWNO’s Tegan Wendland sat down with CEO Bob Becker to learn about how water management was considered in the park’s new golf course. The park is independent - it doesn’t get money from the city - and Becker says they needed the $26 million course to cover a quarter of the park’s budget.

National Digital Library of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

In coming days, President Donald Trump is set to make an executive order to reverse much of President Obama’s climate change policy. The details are still unclear. But here in Louisiana, state officials and environmentalists are already grappling with the new administration’s actions on the environment – like proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.

WWNO’s Tegan Wendland talked with Steve Cochran, of the Environmental Defense Fund, about the implications for the state.

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