WRKF

Coastal Desk

Southeast Louisiana is sinking under the waves faster than any coastal landscape in the world. With so much at stake for Louisiana and the nation, WWNO has made coastal news a priority.

Since mid-2014 our Coastal Desk reporting team has been producing frequent news reports and in-depth features covering coastal erosion and restoration; hurricane protection; offshore energy and other coastal businesses; wildlife and fisheries impacts; and coastal communities and culture.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and local listeners.

Climate change will affect today’s children at every stage of their life. That’s one of the takeaways from a new study from the Lancet Countdown, a project of the medical journal The Lancet.

To talk more about the study, and what it means for the Gulf Coast, reporter Travis Lux spoke with Dr. Jeremy Hess. Hess is a professor of emergency medicine, environmental health, and global health at the University of Washington, and is one of the authors of the report.

A bill that could increase the amount of royalty money Louisiana gets from offshore oil and gas drilling advanced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

The bill, called the Conservation of America’s Shoreline Terrain and Aquatic Life Act, or COASTAL Act, is sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La). It would reduce how much oil and gas money goes to the federal government, and increase the amount that goes to states along the Gulf of Mexico -- Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

A network of advocacy organizations across the Gulf South has published regional Green New Deal policy platform that aims to build on the national policy of the same name.

The Green New Deal is a resolution in Congress that outlines several ways the country can address climate change. It emphasizes clean energy jobs, environmental justice, and transitioning away from fossil fuels. It’s a non-binding resolution -- so it would not change any laws, if passed.

For the last six months, advocacy organizations from Texas to Florida have been working on a regional version, called Gulf South for a Green New Deal.

Have you ever read a story about climate change, and by the end of the article thought, ”Great, now what?” Or maybe, “What do I do with that information? I have questions!”

The Coastal Desk of WWNO and WRKF wants to answer your questions about living with climate change for an upcoming project.

River parish residents are once again protesting the proliferation of petrochemical plants along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Advocates with several organizations, including the Coalition Against Death Alley, RISE St. James, The Concerned Citizens of St. John, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Justice and Beyond, 350 New Orleans and others will kick off a two-week march tonight in New Orleans.

Crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico saw its biggest drop in more than a decade due to the production shutdown ahead of Hurricane Barry earlier this summer, but most consumers likely didn't notice a difference at the gas pump.

As Hurricane Barry approached the Louisiana coast in July, companies evacuated workers and temporarily shut down many of their oil and gas platforms in the Gulf.

Louisiana alligators were once on the brink of extinction. Today, there are more than ever on the coast. Hunting alligator is a way of life for thousands of Louisianans. But it’s becoming less profitable, as foreign imports flood the market and drive down prices. Fewer hunters are heading out to the swamps each fall.

Seven parishes in coastal Louisiana have sued oil and gas companies to restore the coast. The suits say that nearly a hundred companies carved canals through the marshes over the years, and those canals worsened coastal land loss and made parishes more vulnerable to storms. Now, in the first settlement of its kind, one of those oil companies is settling.

To learn more about the case and its implications for the other suits, reporter Tegan Wendland talked with Christopher Dalbom, senior researcher at the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy.

A new report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says sea levels are rising twice as fast as they used to. They’re also warming up and losing oxygen, meaning climate change will increasingly impact everything from coastal flooding to hurricanes to the number of fish in the sea.

According to the report, about 680 million people (10% of the global population) live in coastal regions less than 30 feet above sea level, and face increasing risks caused by sea level rise, storm intensification, and a host of other issues. Large swaths of coastal Louisiana and the Gulf Coast fall squarely into that category.

To better understand what the report suggests about the future of the Gulf Coast, WWNO’s Travis Lux spoke with Dr. Lisa Levin, an oceanographer at UC San Diego and one of the authors of the report.

Those calliope-playing Mississippi riverboats will soon be carrying more than passengers. Scientists are preparing to attach monitors to some boats in an effort to gather more data on the river's water quality.

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