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.

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The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans is getting a little greener. On Thursday night the Board unveiled seven green infrastructure projects it’s partnering on that aim to improve community outreach and participation in the city’s water management.

On Rita Anniversary, Story Of A Small Town Comeback

Sep 24, 2014
Ed Lallo / Louisiana Seafood News

Wednesday marks the nine-year anniversary of Hurricane Rita's landfall in Texas, and the flooding of the Louisiana coast. Western parishes like Cameron, Vermilion and Iberia were hit hard. Plus, Rita added a whole new layer to the unprecedented damage of Katrina and the floods of just a few weeks prior.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

The March: On Sunday, September 21, over 400,000 people congregated in New York City to fight against climate change and advocate for an economic and political system that takes action to address the environmental issues across the planet. Folks represented a variety of focus areas, from anti-fracking to anti-big oil to veganism to food justice to clean air.  

WWNO’s Coastal Desk wanted to know to what degree the issues in Louisiana are on the national radar. They pulled people from the crowd to hear what they knew about the Gulf Coast:

Hundreds of demonstrators marched on Wall Street Monday morning in the second day of climate change protests in New York City.

Sunday’s event drew more than 300,000 marchers.

The fate of the Gulf Coast ecosystem was on the mind of some of those gathered at the event. Mike Jonak carried a sign that read, “Gulf Coast Resistance - Stop Tar Sands”

Jonak is from Minnesota, but wanted to show solidarity with people further down his favorite river.

Jesse Hardman

Last week a delegation from the Crescent City traveled to Austin, Texas. The idea: to check out how Austin manages its water. Drought-stricken Texas has too little water; New Orleans often has too much. But they have a surprising amount to learn from each other.

A little-known state panel could have a big effect on the future of a lawsuit filed against the oil and gas industry last year by a south Louisiana flood board.

The nominating committee for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East is set Thursday to nominate applicants for two people on the board whose terms have expired.

One is Paul Kemp, who supports the flood board's lawsuit seeking to hold oil and gas companies accountable for coastal damage.

A group of New Orleans based developers, city planners, landscape architects and community members gathered at the Propeller business incubator offices last night to discuss potential changes in city standards for water management.

Back in school, did you ever fudge the spacing on a report to meet the teacher's page-length requirement? Lawyers representing oil company BP tried something similar in a recent court filing connected to the company's 2010 drilling rig accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

This week our coastal team is visiting the city of Austin, Texas with a group of New Orleans city officials, including City Council members Susan Guidry and LaToya Cantrell, and representatives from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and the Sewerage and Water Board.

The goal is to learn about how Austin manages its water system, and see if there’s some takeaways as the city of New Orleans tries to create a new water strategy that integrates old and new design.

Francesca Lyman

The 24th Annual Society of Environmental Journalists conference took place in New Orleans last week, bringing to town a few hundred environmental reporters, advocates, scientists, engineers, politicians and more.

Participants got out of the conference rooms to see the levees, bayous, marshes, sinkholes, refineries and rivers that all contribute to the complex region that is Louisiana’s Gulf coast.

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