Listening Post

WWNO's Listening Post project asks questions about local news in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and reports back on the community's response. This week the Listening Post joins forces with WWNO's Coastal Desk to present the Listening Coast. How do residents of southeast Louisiana feel about and plan for their uncertain future? 

As the five-year anniversary approaches later this month of the BP oil spill, the Environmental  Defense Fund is gearing up for monitoring how restoration money is used to repair damage.

The Restore Act sets aside 80 percent of the still-undetermined billions of dollars in fines BP will be ordered to pay in Clean Water Act fines.

Some projects are already drawing critics. The Gulf Restoration Network is suing to block the money from being used for an Alabama convention center.

Natalie Peyronnin is director of science policy for the Environmental Defense Fund.

New Orleans City Park

City Park officials believe a man who broke into a construction site and occupied a tree may be armed with at least two “incendiary devices,” and are calling on protesters to end their criminal activity.

The Park says the man vandalized a security fence to enter a restricted construction zone, accompanied by three other masked individuals.

Listening Coast

Earlier this month, the Wetlands Youth Summit took place at the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center in Houma, Louisiana. High school students interested in the challenges gulf coast communities are facing came together to learn from each other, and talk solutions.

The #ListeningCoast teamed up with the summit to see what these teenagers are most concerned with, and whether or not they see themselves living on the coast later on down the road.

Here’s what people wrote in via text:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Jindal administration is set to announce state cuts to cover a $1.6 billion budget gap. For the first time budget reductions will include the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

A host of environmental organizations, including Environmental Defense Fund, have been speaking out against the proposed 5 percent cut to CPRAs budget.