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Air quality declines in Baton Rouge, improves in NOLA; Rice’s Whale advocates seek protections

A view of the Mississippi River and downtown Baton Rouge from the Louisiana State Capitol’s observation deck. Photo taken Nov. 12, 2021.
Aubry Procell
A view of the Mississippi River and downtown Baton Rouge from the Louisiana State Capitol’s observation deck. Photo taken Nov. 12, 2021.

All week, we’re hearing from public school teachers in Louisiana about how they’re feeling as living costs rise and wages stagnate.Yesterday we heard from a teacher who’s thinking of leaving the profession after only a year in the classroom because of low pay.

On today’s show, Aubri Juhasz, WWNO/WRKF education reporter, brings us the story of another teacher facing a tough decision.

In 2021, ecologists discovered that a group of whales residing exclusively in the Gulf of Mexico was a unique species of whale.

The Rice’s whale is now considered to be critically endangered, with a population possibly under 100 individuals. As we observe the 14th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the subsequent oil spill, ecologists are concerned how that environmental catastrophe affected this population of whales, and they’re working to further protect it.

Dan Moss is a senior government relations representative with Defenders of Wildlife. He joins the show.

The American Lung Association released its annual “State of the Air” report on Wednesday. It takes a look at air quality and how it affects health, and ranks metro areas nationwide.

Eric Weinzettle, a representative of the American Lung Association, shares more on how air quality is looking in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Adam Vos. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber; our contributing producers are Matt Bloom and Adam Vos; we receive production and technical support from Garrett Pittman and our assistant producer, Aubry Procell.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:00 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts.

Louisiana Considered wants to hear from you! Please fill out our pitch line to let us know what kinds of story ideas you have for our show. And while you’re at it, fill out our listener survey! We want to keep bringing you the kinds of conversations you’d like to listen to.

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Adam is responsible for coordinating WRKF's programming and making sure everything you hear on the radio runs smoothly. He is Newscast Editor for the WRKF/WWNO Newsroom. Adam is also the Baton Rouge-based host for Louisiana Considered, our daily regional news program, and is frequently the local voice afternoons on All Things Considered.