environment

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Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Even as the price of oil drops, and offshore drilling slows down, huge amounts of crude oil keep flowing into Louisiana’s oil ports. The biggest is LOOP, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port. It’s a major pass-through point for a lot of U.S. crude. But instead of heading out to refineries, oil is being stockpiled at LOOP.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The oil and gas downturn has resulted in a loss of about 12,000 jobs across Louisiana over the past year. Many of those jobs are concentrated in smaller metropolitan areas, like the Cajun city of Lafayette, which has lost the most. The city that once boomed as a result of oil and gas activity is now struggling to not go bust.

Patrick Kirton in the film "Broken," which he also directed. Kirton turned to the offshore oil and gas industry after 15 years in Hollywood.
Patrick Kirton

In many ways, Patrick Kirton is a typical offshore worker. He grew up in Shreveport; his dad was in the industry; his older brother just retired from BP. But every now and then, out on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico together, his buddies would notice something. And they’d ask him “Hey. Did I see you in a movie?”

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

A sudden drop in oil prices last year has brought huge challenges to the state of Louisiana — more than 10,000 layoffs in the oil and gas sector and a $400 million hit to the state budget. Long known for its “working coast” — represented by shipping, fishing and industry in south Louisiana and along the Mississippi River — the downturn brings with it something of an identity crisis.

Volunteers help a group of children on a field trip make prints of local fish at the Northlake Nature Center.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

With thousands of acres of wildlife refuges along Lake Pontchartrain and the Bogue Chitto River, the Northshore is known for its natural beauty.

The volunteers at one small park near Mandeville are working to provide opportunities for people to get involved and develop a deeper understanding of the local ecosystem. At the Northlake Nature Center, that appreciation begins with children.

Jasmin Lopez

Green Light New Orleans strives to operate as a model of energy efficiency and sustainability.

    

I’m in the backyard of Ms. Mira Cosey’s home. She tells me what vegetables she’s been growing in her garden since Green Light New Orleans built one for her, free of charge.

“Tomatoes, collards, okra, turnips! Beets. And that’s my cucumber over there,” says Mira Cosey. “It wasn’t this tall when I was out here last week. See, all that nice rain.”

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

With oil prices down, Louisiana has lost about 12,000 jobs in oil and gas since last year. Some of those oil and gas workers are finding new jobs in coastal restoration. That includes helping rebuild a chain of barrier islands to protect the coast. One of those state-funded projects is in Plaquemines Parish.

Coastal cities across the globe are looking for ways to protect themselves from sea level rise and extreme weather. In the U.S., there is no set funding stream to help — leaving each city to figure out solutions for itself.

New Orleans and Philadelphia are two cities that face very similar challenges of flooding from rising tides. But they've chosen to pay for the solutions in very different ways.

New Orleans: Post-Disaster Payments And Grants Pave Future

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The city of New Orleans just won an award for its efforts to adapt to climate change. The American Planning Association says the city’s resilience strategy sets a model for others dealing with the same challenges of rising seas and extreme weather. Coastal cities across the nation are trying to develop models like it, but there’s no dedicated federal money to do so.

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