As we head into the spring and summer seasons, people around the state will hit Louisiana waters looking for crabs, shrimp and fish. And as locals tune up their boats and head out onto bayous and into the Gulf, they’ll realize it might be time for a new map.
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.
Bob Marshall has covered Louisiana’s disappearing coast for decades, including his recent series with Fred Kasten, “Last Call” on WWNO. Now he has a new project, Losing Ground, a collaboration between nonprofit newsroom the Lens, where Marshall is Environment Reporter, and the news nonprofit ProPublica.
The best way to understand Louisiana’s rapidly changing coastal map may be to look from above. That’s how you see the small highways headed south, slim like bony fingers, disappearing into a blue backdrop. What a map can’t express are the histories, hopes and desires of communities along the bayous of the Gulf Coast.
WWNO’s Coastal Desk is heading to Chauvin, Louisiana to visit some sites that are in danger of being washed out by coastal erosion and sea level rise. After visiting the working coast camp in Houma last month, Laine Kaplan-Levenson learned of the Wetlands Discovery Center’s Vanishing Points project. This online mapping tool identifies and tells the stories of various locations that are at risk of disappearing.
The oil and gas industry won a significant victory in the Louisiana Legislature Friday with Senate passage of a bill that seeks to kill a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans area levee board against 97 oil and gas companies.
The lawsuit alleges the companies' drilling activities damaged Louisiana's coast.
Senators voted 25-11 for the measure that is aimed at retroactively voiding the lawsuit. The vote sent the bill to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is likely to sign it.
Louisiana Highway 1, or just LA-1, is the longest continuous road in the state, running from the northeast corner down to Grand Isle. One particular stretch of it poses a particular challenge: as coastal erosion and sea level rise continue at rapid rates in southern Louisiana, LA-1 is more consistently flooded. This leaves residents and anyone who needs to travel the road inconvenienced at best, and in peril at worst.
Commuting statistics indicate that coastal parishes are losing residents because of coastal erosion, according to a new report released Sunday by the New Orleans-based Data Center. And it says those left behind are on average older, poorer or otherwise vulnerable.