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 Greater New Orleans Foundation, and local listeners.

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Ryan Utz / Chatham University

A new study shows waterways across the country are getting saltier — including the Mississippi River. That has implications for the ecosystem and for drinking water.

 

The salt comes from two main places. Road salt — which is used to help melt ice and snow on roadways — and also agricultural fertilizers. Fertilizers often have potassium in them, which is a salt.

US Patent Office

TriPod: New Orleans at 300 returns with its NOLA versus Nature series. This week: WWNO’s Laine Kaplan-Levenson and Travis Lux look at the city’s drainage pumps, and the man behind their design -- Albert Baldwin Wood.

New Orleans is below sea level. You know this, and certainly, if you were here this past August, you really know this. Almost a foot of rain fell over a couple hours and parts of town were knee deep in water.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) wants feedback on its list of projects for the next year. Officials are holding a series of public meetings. The first meeting was last night in Belle Chasse.

 

The state’s big-picture plan to protect and restore the coast is updated every five years — it includes plans for things like river diversions and rebuilding marshes. That’s the Master Plan. But the money for those projects is approved on a yearly basis — the Annual Plan.

Deepwater Horizon Response / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

It’s a new year and time to check back in on the coast. WWNO’s Travis Lux talks to Tristan Baurick from Nola.com/The Times-Picayune about the week in coastal news.

 

This week: the Trump administration looks to expand offshore drilling. Plus, Louisiana considers a new idea: pollution trading.

Xavier Badosa / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

People love talking about the weather. And we did a lot of talking during this year's busy hurricane season. Turns out the weather has a way of showing up in music — but less now than it used to.

 

WWNO’s Travis Lux talked with Paul Williams, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading in the UK, who studies how musicians write about the weather. He hopes climate change will inspire more weather-related music.

 

Travis Lux / WWNO

More than 20,000 scientists from around the world came to New Orleans this week for the American Geophysical Union conference. From minerals and volcanoes to oceans, space, and climate change -- they presented all kinds of research.

 

Sara Sneath from Nola.com/The Times-Picayune was there. So was WWNO’s Travis Lux. This week on the Coastal News Roundup, they met up at the conference to talk about the latest in coastal research.

Travis Lux / WWNO

Every summer, a "dead zone" forms in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an area where the oxygen is so low that aquatic mammals can't survive. This year the dead zone was the biggest on record.

 

Tulane University has awarded $1 million to a company to help shrink it.

U.S. Drought Monitor

This week on the Coastal News Roundup: Texas wants to buy Louisiana’s water, coastal cities face credit downgrades, and new research on how when ice sheets melt, sea levels rise unevenly across the globe.

John McCusker / The Advocate

A decision Wednesday by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-East) means the embattled Sewerage and Water Board (SWB) won’t operate three key pieces of the hurricane protection system around New Orleans.

LA SAFE

Louisiana’s Coastal Master plan focuses on restoring and protecting the coast: Building levees, marshes and land. But even with those investments, the state still expects to deal with flooding in the future. Many communities are still going to have to figure out how adapt for the long term.

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