Coastal Desk

Southeast Louisiana is sinking under the waves faster than any coastal landscape in the world. With so much at stake for Louisiana and the nation, WWNO has made coastal news a priority.

Since mid-2014 our Coastal Desk reporting team has been producing frequent news reports and in-depth features covering coastal erosion and restoration; hurricane protection; offshore energy and other coastal businesses; wildlife and fisheries impacts; and coastal communities and culture.

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

Subscribe to the Coastal Desk as a podcast:

1. Open iTunes

2. Go to the File Menu, click on Subscribe to Podcast…

3. Enter this URL: http://wwno.org/podcasts/70174/rss.xml

And that’s it! New episodes download automatically.

Tristan Baurick / Nola.com|The Times-Picayune

Every Friday, coastal reporters from WWNO and Nola.com | The Times-Picayune come together to talk about the week in coastal news.

This week: a platform fire in the Gulf, concern around Sewerage and Water Board contracts and an effort to rebuild the coast from the sky.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The New Orleans City Council questioned the leadership of the Sewerage and Water Board Tuesday about their plan for hiring more employees.

 

Some residents and council members worry the utility is on the path toward privatization.

U.S. Supreme Court

This week on the Coastal News Roundup: legal stuff!

A local levee board's lawsuit against more than 90 oil and gas companies ends after bouncing around in the courts for several years. Plus, the EPA, the federal Department of Justice, and the State of Louisiana reach a settlement with Exxon Mobil, after claiming Exxon's facilities violated the Clean Air Act.

Jim Bowen / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Exxon Mobil will settle air pollution cases with the federal government and the State of Louisiana.

 

The feds and the state of Louisiana claimed that Exxon Mobil violated the Clean Air Act by releasing excess amounts of harmful pollutants from eight of its chemical plants.

 

Five of those plants are in Texas. Three of them are in the Baton Rouge area.  All of them make either plastic, or chemicals for plastic — according to EPA officials.

Dr. Terry McTigue / NOAA

Four years ago, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East (SLFPA-E) filed a lawsuit against dozens of oil and gas companies, claiming they damaged the coast and made levee protection more difficult.

 

The board had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a previous court's decision, but now the Supreme Court says it won’t — effectively killing the lawsuit.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

WWNO Coastal Reporter Travis Lux and Nola.com | The Times-Picayune Coastal Reporter Tristan Baurick talk about the week in coastal news.

 

This week: The Feds announce they’ll open a historic amount of acreage to offshore drilling, mayoral candidates debate coastal and flooding issues, and the Center for Biological Diversity pushes to protect the Cuvier's beaked whale from the airguns of oil and gas companies.

 

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

Mayoral candidates Desiree Charbonnet and Latoya Cantrell discussed water issues at a debate Wednesday night.

 

But it wasn’t much of a debate. Turns out, they actually agree on more than they disagree when it comes to water issues.

David Grunfeld / NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

On this week's installment of the Louisiana coastal roundup, WWNO's Tegan Wendland talked with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune coastal reporter Sara Sneath about an oil spill near Venice that has been characterized as the largest spill in the U.S. since BP's Macondo well blowout in 2010.

Entergy

Since taking office, the Trump administration has been looking for ways to repeal the Clean Power Plan — the Obama administration's policy to reduce carbon emissions at local power plants.

National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Nate is heading to the Gulf Coast after killing 22 people in Central America. Forecasters say the storm will likely strike the Mississippi Delta around 7 p.m. as a Category 2 hurricane. Residents in several coastal parishes have been ordered to evacuate, and polling stations for early voting sites in some areas are closing ahead of schedule. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging residents to find a safe place behind the flood wall as soon as possible and stay put until Sunday morning.

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