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:

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2. Go to the File Menu, click on Subscribe to Podcast…

3. Enter this URL: http://wwno.org/podcasts/70174/rss.xml

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Louisiana is losing its coast at a rapid rate because of rising sea levels, development and sinking marshland. Officials are trying to rebuild those marshes and the wetlands, but much of the coast can't be saved. This makes Louisiana's history an unwitting victim. As land disappears and the water creeps inland, ancient archaeology sites are washing away, too.

Richie Blink was born and raised in Plaquemines Parish, La. — way down south of New Orleans along the Mississippi River. Now he works for the National Wildlife Federation.

Mental Health, Post-Disaster

Dec 21, 2016
Della Hasselle / WWNO

Beyond the tangible needs - like housing, and infrastructure - there’s a mental health component to disaster recovery. Traumatic experiences carry an emotional and psychological cost, and many victims continue to struggle long after their homes have been rebuilt.

But as WWNO’s Della Hasselle reports, local charities are available - providing counseling and assistance to help people rebuild their lives, and emerge from trauma stronger.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

As Louisiana’s coast continues to wash away, small towns close to the water are more and more at risk. Lots of people have moved further inland. Yet the towns themselves not only remain, they often defiantly insist that they’re sticking around. WWNO’s Coastal Desk is exploring the idea of “retreat” - who’s thinking about it, and who’s not.

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

Thousands of Louisiana flood victims are still living in hotels as part of FEMAs Temporary Shelter Assistance program.

On the list of FEMA relief options, the hotel vouchers are meant as a short-term solution -- but four months later, it's still the only option for many people who can't return home.

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

Community meetings are scheduled in seven parishes across Louisiana through December 20th.

Residents will have an opportunity to review proposed flood recovery programs, and talk to officials in charge of coordinating the recovery efforts.

Hosted by the Louisiana Office of Community Development, the meetings are part of a public comment period for the state’s action plan, which includes assistance programs for homeowners, renters, and small businesses.

Public meetings are scheduled as follows:

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

Louisiana’s second flood recovery funding request has fallen short on Capitol Hill.

Legislation currently under consideration in Congress will fund the federal government through the end of April. It includes $1.4 billion in flood relief for Louisiana.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The state is working hard to protect its’ disappearing coast - officials have come up with all sorts of solutions, from planting marshes to building levees. Some of these techniques are tried and tested - we know what happens when we build a levee. But in the state’s haste to do everything it can to save the coast, some of its approaches are a little more experimental.

Eve Troeh/WWNO

It's been over 100 days since floodwaters rose up to the rooftops in parts of Baton Rouge, La. The so-called 1,000-year flood hit neighborhoods that had never seen such a disaster. But to some flood victims, it was all too familiar - those who moved to Baton Rouge from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina about a decade ago.

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.

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