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.

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NOLA.com | The Times Picayune / NASA

This week on the Coastal News Roundup: an expedited process for Mississippi River sediment diversions, a study on the causes of Mississippi flooding, and a new understanding of why the Gulf of Mexico is eroding. 

WWNO's Tegan Wendland spoke with reporter Tristan Baurick, from NOLA.com | The Times Picayune.

Della Hasselle / The Lens

Coastal scientists are almost finished rebuilding a barrier island that has been washing away for years. It’s one of several island projects in the state’s Coastal Master Plan. They’re big projects that state officials have planned for a long time, but only recently got money for.

“On Our Watch” is a sobering one-hour documentary film about Louisiana’s alarming loss of coastal wetlands.  “On Our Watch” examines the origins of wetlands erosion and subsidence, which combined with sea level rise, are producing projections of accelerating land loss and increased flooding  and destruction of coastal communities.  The film explains the complicated issues surrounding Louisiana’s underfunded  plan for preserving and restoring wetlands and protecting some residents from flooding.

David Grunfeld / Nola.com |The Times-Picayune

On this week's coastal news roundup, WWNO's Tegan Wendland talked with  Sara Sneath of NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune about chemical releases in St. James Parish, barrier islands, and coral reefs. 

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

The federal government held an auction Wednesday for oil and gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The Trump administration is pushing for an expansion of offshore drilling, and there has been a lot of anticipation around this sale — the largest ever in the Gulf, with 77-million acres up for grabs.

Coastal News Roundup: Refinery Flare Edition

Mar 16, 2018
Roy Luck / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Last weekend, New Orleanians noticed a big fireball coming from the Chalmette Refining refinery. Some worried there had been an explosion, but it turns out it was a really big flare — a fiery plume that burns off excess stuff created during the oil refining process.

Brett Duke / NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

This week on the Coastal News Roundup: The Mighty Mississippi was particularly mighty this week. The Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carret Spillway to ease some of the pressure as the river rises. Also this week, new research reveals that thousands of Coast Guard members were harmed by the chemicals used to clean up the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. 

Travis Lux / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway to a big crowd Thursday morning, in order to relieve pressure on Mississippi River levees downstream.

 

The Army Corps estimates 500-600 people showed up to watch the Corps open the Spillway. Katie Huffaker drove all the way from Houma. She homeschools her kids and thought it would make for a good lesson in geography.  

Travis Lux / WWNO

The company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has started building a pipeline through South Louisiana. Protesters are disrupting construction, and now a judge has ordered construction in the Atchafalaya Basin to stop while a lawsuit plays out in court.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers will open the Bonnet Carré Spillway on Thursday to prevent river flooding near New Orleans.

 

The Mississippi River is rising, as floodwater from the Midwest makes its way south.

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