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.

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.

Beardo62 / Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Louisiana oil and gas industry in Louisiana is asking President Trump not to take coastal restoration money away from the state.

 

The funding issue at hand is the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA).

 

Oil and gas companies have to pay for leases if they want to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. The federal government makes money from those leases. GOMESA is a law that requires the government share some of that money with the states on the gulf coast -- including Louisiana.

Ian Kennedy / Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Several federal agencies are teaming up to do a multi-year survey of marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. The goal is to better understand how oil and gas activities impact marine species, and it’s huge in scope.

 

If you want to know how oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico impacts water creatures -- or how to minimize those impacts -- you have to know as much as you can about them.

Travis Lux / WWNO

Last week President Trump pulled the U.S out of the Paris Climate Agreement -- or Paris Climate Accord. When it was ratified in 2015 it was a big deal -- almost every country in the world met in Paris to agree on a way to fight climate change.

 

But Trump says the deal isn’t good for business. Pulling out could have implications for Louisiana. WWNO's Travis Lux talked with Dr. Bob Thomas, professor of environmental communication at Loyola University, about what it will mean.

 

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.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Today, Thursday, June 1st, is the official start of hurricane season.

 

Local officials say they’re ready. But they want to make sure you are too, and hope some new technology helps.

 

If there’s one thing state and local officials want you to know, it’s this: have a plan.

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.

 


Listening Coast

The Trump administration has released a more detailed budget proposal for the next fiscal year, which would mean less money for coastal restoration in Louisiana.

 

Funding for the Coastal Master Plan is cobbled together from several different places -- like the State of Louisiana, the Federal government, and the BP oil spill settlement.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The Mississippi River remains high as floodwater makes its way south from the Midwest, and the Army Corps of Engineers is inspecting the levees daily for problems like leaks.

 

The Corps started inspecting the river about two weeks ago, as the water began to rise.

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