Coastal Desk

Coastal Desk
5:42 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Tulane University Gets Grant To Help Coastal Communities Prepare For Future Oil Spills

The oil slick as seen from space by NASA's Terra satellite on 24 May 2010
Credit NASA / Wikimedia Commons

The Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy at Tulane University received $1.4 million from the BP Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to fund research about impacts of the 2010 oil spill in Louisiana and Alabama. 

This three year program will focus on three coastal communities. Two areas in Louisiana and one in Alabama will be selected to study the impact of the oil spill.

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Coastal Desk
11:57 am
Thu March 12, 2015

FYI, The Front Yard Initiative For Better Water Management

Professor John Renne of UNO Planning and Urban Studies has more on the Front Yard Initiative, a pilot program to help homeowners turn concrete into green space. The idea, he says, has social, environmental and property value impact.

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Coastal Desk
1:39 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Coastal Rundown: The Listening Coast

A photo sent into the Listening Coast by one Houma resident of a favorite place on the bayou.
Credit Listening Coast / WWNO

WWNO’s Listening Post community media project has mostly covered issues related to New Orleans. But WWNO’s signal reaches far beyond the city, and we want to explore what people along the Louisiana coast are thinking.

Naturally, our expansion is called the Listening Coast, and it has its own number: Text "hello" to 985-200-2433 (or call and leave a voicemail!) to get in touch.

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Coastal Desk
12:08 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Is BP Responsible For The Deaths Of Over 1,000 Dolphins Along The Gulf Coast?

Bottlenose dolphins, socializing.
Credit Serguei S. Dukachev / Wikimedia Commons

A report published last month found that an unusually high number of bottlenose dolphins have been dying all along the Gulf Coast since February 2010. This unusual mortality event, or UME, began two months before the 2010 BP oil spill, but groups including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the spill is responsible for the continued die-off of this species.

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Coastal Desk
5:27 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Why Do We Measure Wetlands Loss In Football Fields?

Bayou Dularge in Terrebonne Parish.
Credit Jesse Hardman / WWNO

What happens when you combine the most popular sport in the U.S. with one of the most dire environmental situations in the country? The catchy analogy that a football field sized piece of Louisiana coastal wetlands is lost every half-hour.

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Coastal Desk
5:36 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Louisiana Oil Refinery Workers Join Nationwide Strike

St. Bernard Parish oil refinery that was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina.
Credit Jacinta Quesada/FEMA / Wikimedia Commons

This weekend, Louisiana workers joined the largest national oil refinery strike in over 30 years. 1,350 employees from the Motiva refineries in Convent and Norco, Louisiana, joined fellow members of the United Steelworkers union in asking the industry to change the current safety requirements. 

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Coastal Desk
2:39 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Did The French Quarter Flood After Katrina? Yes, About Nine Percent Of It

A photo taken in the immediate days after Hurricane Katrina shows floodwaters on Canal Street, crossing into the French Quarter.
Richard Campanella

As NBC announces the 6-month, unpaid suspension of news anchor Brian Williams, controversy over the truth of many of his high-profile reporting trips continues.

While the scandal erupted related to questions about Iraq, in 2003, it has also brought into question Williams’ 2005 reporting in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Among other claims, Williams reported floodwaters around his French Quarter hotel.

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Coastal Desk
8:30 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

WWNO's Coastal Glossary

Aerial view of wetlands
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services / Wikimedia Commons

As we explore the Gulf Coast more comprehensively than ever before, trying to understand better the complex relationships inherent in the restoration process, there's a lot to learn and keep track of.

In order to both understand and talk about coastal erosion, an expanded vocabulary is needed — one filled with brand-new terms whose definitions are integral to absorbing the problems and solutions Louisiana faces around water and land loss.

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Coastal Desk
7:16 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Delta Blues Part 3: Better Together

Boat on the river in Can Tho, the largest city in the Mekong Delta.
Credit Jesse Hardman / WWNO

Louisiana faces the highest relative rates of sea level rise in the world. As policy and funding debates rage over how to best restore and protect our coastal communities, local leaders also look for allies elsewhere.

On the other side of the globe, Louisiana has found sympathetic ears in Vietnam. That nation also has a below-sea-level region at the mouth of a great river. Increased conversation and meetings aim to find out how shared geography might lead to shared solutions. 

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Environment
5:16 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

EPA Push For Massive Munitions Burn Ignites Opposition In Louisiana

Melissa Downer and her family moved to Camp Minden, La., 11 years ago and live on three acres. The mother of three young daughters says they'll move if the M6 is burned in the open air.
Kate Archer Kent Red River Radio

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 7:17 pm

Explosions used to be no big deal for residents of sleepy rural towns in north Louisiana's piney woods near the Arkansas border. Blasts meant jobs.

The Army's Camp Minden was the site of a former ammunition factory built during World War II. The factory closed in the 1990s. Still, the place is littered with millions of pounds of leftover artillery waste.

The stuff in question is called M6, a toxic propellant in grenades and artillery rounds. The Army doesn't use it anymore, and tons of M6 are stored in bunkers at Camp Minden.

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