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 reported for Wisconsin Public Radio, The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, WRKF-FM in Baton Rouge and WVIK-FM in Rock Island, Illinois. Her work has aired nationally on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Here and Now, Science Friday and Marketplace. 

When she's not reporting, Tegan is making kimchi, camping or kayaking. 

Ways to Connect

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.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

As extreme weather brings more natural disasters, like flooding and wildfires, more Americans are experiencing them in their own backyard or seeing them play out on TV. As a result, preparing for disasters might be more mainstream than in the past. National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers show is hugely popular. Families used to build bomb shelters; now people are packing emergency bags for the next big weather event. It’s become big business.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Mardi Gras means a lot of different things for a lot of different people. Some devote hours to costume making, while neighbors get together at house parties along the parade route.

But for many families it’s grueling. High school band members and dancers spend all year practicing, and then spend hours on the streets as they march in the parades. WWNO All Things Considered Host, Janae Pierre, is part of such a family. She sent this report, produced by WWNO’s Tegan Wendland, from the Krewe of Nyx parade.

 

In New Orleans, hundreds of families are trying to put their lives back together after a tornado touched down in New Orleans East on Tuesday.

Hebert family / WWNO

For many in south Louisiana flooding is a part of daily life. You buy flood insurance, plan ahead and have a place to stay if there’s a big hurricane. But the floods this summer in and around Baton Rouge took a lot of people by surprise. Many of them had moved away from the coast after previous storms, and never thought it would happen there.

Louisiana is losing its coast at a rapid rate because of rising sea levels, development and sinking marshland. Officials are trying to rebuild those marshes and the wetlands, but much of the coast can't be saved. This makes Louisiana's history an unwitting victim. As land disappears and the water creeps inland, ancient archaeology sites are washing away, too.

Richie Blink was born and raised in Plaquemines Parish, La. — way down south of New Orleans along the Mississippi River. Now he works for the National Wildlife Federation.

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