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Sea Change
Sea Change
Bi-weekly

A new podcast from WWNO/WRKF dives deep into the environmental issues facing coastal communities on the Gulf Coast and beyond. Sea Change will bring you stories that illuminate, inspire, and sometimes enrage, but above all, remind us why we must work together to solve the issues facing our warming world. The podcast will help document our changing coasts with accountability journalism that’s too often missing from today’s media, while sharing captivating stories from the people dealing with the most significant and complex problems of our time.

Hosted by Carlyle Calhoun, Halle Parker and Kezia Setyawan, the show is based out of New Orleans, Louisiana which — perhaps more than any other place — embodies the existential threat of climate change. But like the city known as the Big Easy — Sea Change will also showcase joy, and resiliency — and tell powerful stories of people making a difference.

Sea Change is distributed by PRX and is a part of the NPR Podcast Network.

Made possible with major support provided by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. WWNO’s Coastal Desk is supported by the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the Meraux Foundation.

Sea Change Episodes
  • Sea Change is taking a short break before Season 2 launches in March, and we plan to start the season off with a bang. Last fall, we traveled all over the world to report a series about a massive expansion of fossil fuels on the Gulf Coast and what it could mean for the planet. We are very excited to share it with you soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to bring you some great podcasts that we love. On to a New Year’s resolution we are actually keeping! Spend more time on what gives us hope in this rapidly changing climate. So in keeping with our resolution, today we are bringing you an episode from KCRW’s The Anti-Dread Climate Podcast. In this episode, they ask a big climate question: does what we do even matter? Why bother taking any individual actions to help the planet if industry and other nations pollute so much that they cancel you out? Caleigh and Candice discuss how your daily choices to affect climate change can have an impact – but maybe not the way you think.
  • Sometimes, it can be hard to find the bright spots amid feelings of uncertainty about the future of our planet. But they're there. Today on Sea Change, we're focusing entirely on solutions. Stories about the good. We hear about a landscape architect in China who's pushing his city to become spongier as part of the global push for cities to rip up their concrete. And whether recognizing a river or forest's legal right to exist could help save our world.We also hear from two experts about how you can start taking small steps in your own life to help tackle climate change as soon as tomorrow. Because what we do matters. The report “Making cities 'spongy' could help fight flooding — by steering the water underground” by John Ruwitch was originally broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition on October 3, 2023, and is used with the permission of NPR. For more climate solutions, find KCRW’s “The Anti-Dread Climate Podcast” here: https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/the-anti-dread-climate-podcast This episode was hosted by Halle Parker and Carlyle Calhoun. Our managing producer is Carlyle Calhoun. Editing help was provided by Rosemary Westwood. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a WWNO and WRKF production. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX. Sea Change is made possible with major support from the Gulf Research Program of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. WWNO’s Coastal Desk is supported by the Walton Family Foundation, the Meraux Foundation, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
  • There are only around 51 Rice’s whales left in the world. And they’re the only whale that stays in one country’s territory: they live exclusively in the Gulf of Mexico…in US waters. A uniquely American whale. This also means the responsibility to protect these whales lies with the United States, but are we protecting them? That’s a question NPR Investigations reporter, Chiara Eisner had. With so few Rice’s whales left on the planet, she wanted to know what–if anything–is being done to prevent their extinction. Today on Sea Change, we hear the story of this shy, baleen whale who was only discovered as a new species a couple of years ago. And is already swimming in controversy. This episode was hosted by Carlyle Calhoun, and edited by Meg Martin and Halle Parker. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a WWNO and WRKF production. Sea Change is made possible with major support from the Gulf Research Program of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. WWNO’s Coastal Desk is supported by the Walton Family Foundation, the Meraux Foundation, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. You can reach the Sea Change team at seachange@wwno.org. This episode has been re-posted due to a technical error. We apologize for the inconvenience.
  • Today, we are exploring a growing threat to our freshwater supplies in coastal regions all over the country. With climate change, we are experiencing sea-level rise and more frequent droughts, both of which make it easier for saltwater to creep into places we don’t want it. First, we go to Plaquemines Parish, an area that’s been dealing with the effects of saltwater intrusion on their drinking water for months. An extreme drought across the Midwest has meant a less-than-mighty Mississippi. Which, has allowed seawater to come up the River—otherwise known as our drinking water supply down here. And then we travel to the coast of North Carolina, where we see another impact of saltwater intruding where we don’t want it. And we find out: what happens to agriculture when the saltwater comes in? Both of these places offer a glimpse into what could become a saltier future for much of our coastal communities. Reported by Halle Parker and David Boraks. Hosted by Carlyle Calhoun and Halle Parker. Our managing producer is Carlyle Calhoun. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX. This story was produced through a collaboration between WFAE public radio in Charlotte and Climate Central, a non-advocacy science and news group. Reporters John Upton and Kelly Van Baalen contributed.
  • As we experience worsening impacts from climate change, we’re wondering: How can we rethink engineering? Instead of trying to control nature, can we design with nature? There are more than a thousand miles of levees and floodgates lining each side of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Thousands of dams also hold back water and sediment throughout the Mississippi basin. But the thing is, you can’t totally harness a river such as the Mississippi. And, research has shown that our efforts to tame the river have actually made our risk of flooding worse when you add climate change to the mix. Today on Sea Change, we talk to MacArthur award-winning landscape architect, Kate Orff, and renowned environmental scientist, Don Boesch, about how they envision a future where instead of concrete, we turn to nature to protect us. Produced by Carlyle Calhoun who co-hosts the show with Halle Parker. Our managing producer is Carlyle Calhoun. Editing help from Meg Martin. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX.
  • Today on Sea Change, we are bringing you an episode from our friends at KQED. The story you’re about to hear is from the third season of their podcast called Sold Out: Rethinking Housing in America. Climate change is intensifying wet periods across California, untaming waterways humans corralled with dirt and concrete. In this episode, “Searching for Home on Higher Ground,” reporter Ezra David Romero takes us to Pajaro, California, where he asks a question that many of us here on the Gulf Coast have also had to ask: when the water comes for your home, how do you adapt? Is abandoning life in the floodplain the only option? Ezra follows the Escutia family as they manage their retreat from the Pajaro levee after a devastating breach and their search for an affordable home on higher ground. Listen to Sold Out wherever you listen to podcasts. To find out more about the podcast, visit: https://www.kqed.org/podcasts/soldout This episode was hosted by Carlyle Calhoun and Halle Parker. Ezra David Romero reported and produced this episode. Our theme music is by Jon Batiste. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX.
  • As natural disasters worsen and extreme weather grows more frequent, it’s led to more people being displaced across the planet. Sometimes, we call those people climate migrants. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that in the last year alone, around 3 million Americans were displaced by natural disasters. But for some climate migrants, displacement isn’t always so immediate or apparent, but it is often tangled up in bureaucracy and a broken system. Today on Sea Change, we explore what it means to recover after disaster. First, we travel to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where we look at how long it truly takes to be made whole — if that ever happens. Three years after a deadly hurricane struck the city, people are still rebuilding their lives. Then, we go to Texas to hear from residents pushed to the margins six years after Hurricane Harvey, suffering through what has become chronic flooding. Reported by Stephan Bisaha and Erin Douglas. Hosted by Stephan Bisaha and Halle Parker. Edited and produced by Carlyle Calhoun and Greta Díaz González Vazquez. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX.
  • Kemp's Ridleys are the most endangered sea turtle on the planet...can they lose their nickname of the "heartbreak turtle"? Today, we go on a journey to the remote Chandeleur islands to try to find the mysterious Kemp’s Ridley turtles, who, after 75 years, have been discovered on the shores of Louisiana. It’s a story of loss and restoration, of hope and heartbreak. Hosted by Sea Change managing producer Carlyle Calhoun. Editing help by Nora Saks, Garrett Hazelwood, and Halle Parker. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX.
  • Earlier this year, we told the story of how a change in the White House had the potential to turn the tide for Black communities fighting against environmental pollution in Louisiana's industrial corridor nicknamed Cancer Alley — one of the country's largest hotspots for toxic air. The Environmental Protection Agency's new leader pledged to use all the tools in his toolbox to deliver "environmental justice," and his agency launched a groundbreaking investigation into alleged civil rights violations by the state. Environmental advocates thought it could be the moment everyone waited for after years of debate over discrimination. Then, out of the blue, the EPA dropped its high-profile investigation without any resolution. It blindsided everyone. Today on Sea Change, we go back to Louisiana's industrial corridor to try to find some answers. Why, when the EPA was on the cusp of reforming the petrochemical state of Louisiana, did it just... back off? Turns out, the implications are even bigger than we imagined. Far bigger than Louisiana. Reported and hosted by Halle Parker. Our managing producer is Carlyle Calhoun. Edited by Nora Saks and Carlyle Calhoun. Our sound designer is Maddie Zampanti. Sea Change is a production of WWNO and WRKF. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX.
  • Today marks the beginning of a whole new industry here in the Gulf of Mexico: offshore wind energy. The Biden administration opened the first-ever wind lease sale in the Gulf, and 300,000 acres of the Gulf will be auctioned off. Companies will now bid for the rights to put giant wind turbines off the coast of southwest Louisiana and east Texas. It’s a big day to say the least. And there’s been a whole lot of excitement leading up to the lease sale. It even has bipartisan support. And this could just be the start. To understand how we got here, today, we are bringing you an episode from our friends at New Hampshire Public Radio’s podcast Outside/In. The episode is from a series called Windfall. Picture this: thousands of wind turbines off the Atlantic coast, each one taller than the Washington Monument. Offshore wind is seen as an essential solution to climate change, and it’s poised for explosive growth in the United States. How did we get to a moment of such dramatic change? Windfall is the story of a promising renewable technology and the potential of wind power in a changing climate. It’s a story about who has the power to reshape our energy future. Featuring: Henrik Stiesdal, Bryan Wilson, and Bob Grace. Part 1 of 5. Listen to the rest of the series here. SUPPORT Windfall is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our newsletter. LINKS A note about our reporting A video from the power company, Orsted, detailing the decommissioning of Vindeby, the world’s first offshore wind farm. How a turbine works CREDITS Co-hosts: Sam Evans-Brown and Annie Ropeik Written and reported by Sam Evans-Brown Senior Producer: Jack Rodolico Executive Producer: Erika Janik Mixed by Taylor Quimby Fact-checker: Sara Sneath Editors: Erika Janik, Annie Ropeik, Justine Paradis, Taylor Quimby, Felix Poon, and Hannah McCarthy Special thanks to Sarah Mizes-Tan and WCAI for the audio of the Block Island Wind Farm Tour, and to Vincent Schellings, Walter Musial, Michael Taylor and Dan Shreve Music: Ben Cosgrove, Blue Dot Sessions, and Breakmaster Cylinder Windfall Graphic Design: Sara Plourde