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.

National Digital Library of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

In coming days, President Donald Trump is set to make an executive order to reverse much of President Obama’s climate change policy. The details are still unclear. But here in Louisiana, state officials and environmentalists are already grappling with the new administration’s actions on the environment – like proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.

WWNO’s Tegan Wendland talked with Steve Cochran, of the Environmental Defense Fund, about the implications for the state.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

As extreme weather brings more natural disasters, like flooding and wildfires, more Americans are experiencing them in their own backyard or seeing them play out on TV. As a result, preparing for disasters might be more mainstream than in the past. National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers show is hugely popular. Families used to build bomb shelters; now people are packing emergency bags for the next big weather event. It’s become big business.

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

There was a lot of talk of what it would cost to make people WHOLE again after last summer’s devastating floods. And while bureaucrats have searched for a way to quantify a complete recovery for Louisiana residents, Jesse Hardman reports on how many flood affected families are simply going about finding their own ways forward.

Wallis Watkins / WWNO/WRKF

Even before the March and August floods hit Louisiana, the state faced a shortage of affordable rental housing. That shortage grew as homes flooded and became uninhabitable. On Tuesday, Governor John Bel Edwards announced an initiative to help fill that need. Wallis Watkins reports.

Wallis Watkins / WWNO/WRKF

In September 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded East Baton Rouge Parish an $11 million grant to assist with flood recovery. Thursday night, Mayor Sharon West Broome's office proposed a new plan on how to spend it. Wallis Watkins reports.

Gonzales, Louisiana; August 2016
Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

It’s been nearly six months since the historic flooding in southeast Louisiana. Since then, Congress has authorized $1.6 billion for the state to help people repair homes and businesses. But that’s well short of the estimated $8 billion in damage done. Wallis Watkins spoke with some flood survivors trying to navigate the recovery process.

About 15 people gathered for the Coastal Desk tour of the Port of New Orleans on February 10.
Jason Saul / WWNO

CLICK ON THE SLIDESHOW TO SEE THE IMAGES

Last week nearly 15 New Orleans Public Radio listeners joined our Coastal Desk reporters for a tour of the Port of New Orleans.

On February 10 we boarded The Roy S. Kelley, a large boat owned by the Port, and toured the operations along the Mississippi River -- from New Orleans Cold Storage adjacent to the Fly park Uptown, all the way to the Industrial Canal inlet separating the Bywater neighborhood from the Lower 9th Ward. Paul Matthews, the Community Affairs Manager for the Port of New Orleans, lead the tour and answered listeners' questions.

Wharton Digital Press

The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Under-Prepare For Disasters examines human behavior and disaster preparedness, trying to answer the question: why, with our ability to forsee and protect against natural catastrophes, do humans fail to protect ourselves and our communities from disaster? WWNO’s Jessica Rosgaard spoke to co-author Robert Meyer about how humans can overcome the psychological hurdles to disaster preparedness.

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

Governor John Bel Edwards is traveling to Washington, D.C. - his sixth trip since the August flooding in Louisiana. He’ll be meeting with lawmakers to request an additional $2 billion in flood relief.

So far, Congress has approved two installments of funding for the state at a total of $1.6 billion. But Governor Edwards says that is still short of what’s needed.

Last week, the Governor sent letters to both the Louisiana Congressional Delegation and President Trump describing the unmet needs of homeowners, renters and businesses.

Hebert family / WWNO

For many in south Louisiana flooding is a part of daily life. You buy flood insurance, plan ahead and have a place to stay if there’s a big hurricane. But the floods this summer in and around Baton Rouge took a lot of people by surprise. Many of them had moved away from the coast after previous storms, and never thought it would happen there.

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