Coastal Desk

Environment
9:58 am
Mon January 13, 2014

The Louisiana Coast: Last Call

Below are segments 1, 3 and 4 of the 15-part series The Louisiana Coast: Last Call. The series aired on the New Orleans NPR affiliate, 89.9 WWNO, between May 13, 2013 and December 2, 2013.

Total running time for the three segments is 27 minutes, 37 seconds.

You can find more information on each segment, including graphics and full text, at the links preceding each audio file:

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Environment
3:58 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

City Will Collect Christmas Trees For Coastal Restoration Projects

The City of New Orleans will once again collect Christmas trees and reclycle them for use in coastal restoration projects.
dutourdumonde Shutterstock

The City of New Orleans will continue its curbside Christmas tree recycling program this year, the Mayor's Office has announced.

The trees, which will be collected during regular curbside trash collection days (Jan. 9-11), will be placed in selected coastal areas in an effort to help rebuild wetlands and protect the Louisiana coastline.

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Environment
12:48 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Scientists Charge BP Oil Spill 'Gravely' Injured Dolphins

Veterinarians collect samples from a Barataria Bay dolphin in August 2011.

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 7:18 am

Dolphins are getting very sick from exposure to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A government study confirms a host of problems in dolphins who live in one of the heaviest-oiled bays in Louisiana. Scientists say the dolphins are gravely ill with injuries consistent with the toxic effects of exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons.


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Environment
12:28 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Louisiana Coast: Last Call — What's Next?

Jeff Adelson of The New Orleans Advocate, and Mark Schleifstein of Nola.com | The Times-Picayune.

Talk to anyone in South Louisiana and they know that the future is clouded by sea level rise and subsidence. They also know that if the Master Plan for the Coast is not implemented on time, as scheduled, Southeast Louisiana has very little chance of staying above that sea level rise.

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Environment
4:10 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Rate Of Coastal Wetlands Loss Has Sped Up, U.S. Study Says

Saltwater wetlands that include marshes and shoals on Virginia's Atlantic coast. U.S. coastal wetlands losses were 25 percent greater from 2004-2009, according to a recent federal study.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 6:47 pm

The U.S. lost an average of 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands from 2004 to 2009, according to the latest data published by federal agencies. More than 70 percent of the estimated loss came in the Gulf of Mexico; nationwide, most of the loss was blamed on development that incurred on freshwater wetlands.

"The losses of these vital wetlands were 25 percent greater than during the previous six years," NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports for our Newscast unit. She also notes that the loss equals "about seven football fields every hour."

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12:24 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Losing Louisiana

This special multimedia feature — from The Weather Channel and New Orleans-based reporter Katy Reckdahl and photographer Kathleen Flynn — examines how and why the Louisiana coast is disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico, largely through the eyes of the people living there.
Because of a slow-moving disaster caused by sinking land, climate change and oil exploration, Louisiana's coastal families must choose between leaving their homes for higher ground or staying where generations of their families lived, on land so precarious the next hurricane could wash them away.
The Louisiana Coast: Last Call
7:45 am
Mon November 4, 2013

The Louisiana Coast: Last Call — Diversions?

New Orleans' levee board is suing energy companies for damaging the Mississippi River delta by cutting canals through the marshland. The canals let in sea water, which kills marshes, eroding the city's protective buffer against storms. A map of the delta.
Frank Relle

Anyone following the development of the Master Plan for the Louisiana coast knows that the central part of the plan is also its most controversial: large scale river diversions, opening the levees on the sides of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans to let the silt-carrying Mississippi out into these sinking deltas to begin rebuilding them.

But not everyone’s happy with that, because restoring the deltas to their former state means changing things from the way they’ve been for almost 70 years.

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Environment
5:00 am
Thu October 31, 2013

2013 Anba Dlo Water Symposium Initiates Public Dialogue

At the Anba Dlo conference, the complex issues of water supervision and management were discussed with the public. In the event of rising tides, wetlands would deteriorate.
Credit Army Corps of Engineers digital library

Many states suffer from a shortage of water, but not Louisiana — we’ve got a surplus. Problem is, we don’t know what to do with it. And as our coastline diminishes each year, the urgency to make a decision is pivotal.

Experts have been brainstorming about Louisiana’s relationship with water, and they recently congregated at the second annual Anba Dlo symposium to share their thoughts with the public. 

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Green Minute
6:02 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

The Green Minute: Vampire Power

Standby power... what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!
Credit wikipedia

With Fall finally in the air and the calendar page turned to October, it’s time for ghosts, goblins, witches and mummies.

But keeping the real vampires away will take more than garlic and crosses. There are vampires hiding in plain sight right this very moment, and they even live with you.

Vampire power is the energy drawn from devices while they are in standby mode, and it’s a real drain on the grid. Nationally, standby power accounts for more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of annual electricity consumption, and more than $10 billion in annual energy costs.

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BP Oil Spill
2:05 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Phase 2 Of BP Trial Focuses On Amount Of Spilled Oil

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig is seen burning in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. A second phase of the BP trial, which started this week, looks at just how much oil spilled into the Gulf.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:48 am

In a New Orleans courtroom this week, BP and the federal government are arguing over how much oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010.

Oil flowed from the out-of-control well for nearly three months. Just how much oil spilled will be key in determining the amount BP will have to pay in federal fines and penalties.

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