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.

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

As this holiday season begins, Louisiana waits on federal disaster relief funding; no word yet on the Governor's request to Congress for an additional four billion dollars. While some flood victims spent Thanksgiving in newly fixed houses, thousands more are still not home. Jessica Rosgaard went to a free holiday meal for flood victims in Baton Rouge.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Louisiana is investing millions of dollars to protect what wetlands are left along the coast. Also building diversions and barrier islands to protect people’s homes and livelihoods. But the truth is, ever since Katrina, many coastal towns have been shrinking faster, on their own.

Make Wetlands Great Again
Ryan Kailath / WWNO

Louisiana spends heavily on building wetlands and levees to protect its eroding coast. Over the next three years, the state plans to put nearly $300 million into land-building alone. But as the true picture of sea level rise comes into view, officials may need to explore a less popular option: retreat from the coast.


Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

Three months after flood waters devastated southeast Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards is hoping his second request for federal funds will be approved before Congress adjourns for the year. Part of the $4-billion request would be designated for infrastructure improvements. He addressed the topic in his monthly radio call-in show.

The deadline to apply for funding under the state Shelter at Home program is this Friday, October 21st.

The program provides up to $15,000 for basic repairs allowing residents to live in in their homes as they continue the rebuilding process. Ten thousand people have already benefited from the program. 

Eligible repairs include weatherproofing, securing broken doors and windows, and a safety inspection of wiring and plumbing. Money for temporary appliances such as small refrigerators and microwaves is also available.

Verdin family

Every five years, the state revamps its master plan to restore coastal Louisiana. This year, they’re hosting community meetings in coastal areas to tell people about master plan updates for 2017.

Join Us For The Coastal Desk's Sinkhole Tour!

Oct 10, 2016
Join us for the WWNO Sinkhole Tour.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Sat., October 22, 2016
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Starts: 624 Louisiana Ave. (View Map)

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Sinkholes and potholes are a big problem all over New Orleans. There are a number of reasons why, but mainly: the land is sinking due to natural subsidence; and the infrastructure is aging. The city works to fix big problems as they arise – like the giant sinkhole downtown earlier this year – but it’s a seemingly endless problem. The Landrieu administration recently secured $2 billion from the federal government to update roads and infrastructure.

The Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority’s master plan is in the process of being updated, which happens every five years. The new plan includes “non structural” projects – like elevation, flood proofing, and even relocating people. In order to get local input, CPRA officials are hosting a series of community conversations along the coast.

On Friday, New Orleans received new flood maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Overnight, more than half the population moved out of the so-called high-risk zone.

But with half the city at or below sea level and memories of massive flooding after Hurricane Katrina 11 years ago, some residents are worried these new maps send the wrong message.

Orleans Parish is seeing its flood maps updated for the first time since 1984 today. More than half of the city is moving out of the so-called “high risk” zone—this comes with lower flood insurance rates, which many are celebrating. But in June, Tulane historian Andy Horowitz penned a controversial op-ed in the New York Times. He called these maps an “outline for disaster.” WWNO’s Ryan Kailath sat down with Horowitz this week to discuss.

 

 


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